For some reason, Sporting News decided that it would be a good idea to ask University of Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops for his opinion on whether or not college football players should be paid. Stoops's sneering thoughts on the matter were exactly what you'd expect to hear from a member of the fascistic coaching class. As you read on, please keep in mind that Stoops makes almost $5 million a year.
On to the trolling:
“I tell my guys all the time,” Stoops says, “you’re not the first one to spend a hungry Sunday without any money.”
“You know what school would cost here for non-state guy? Over $200,000 for room, board and everything else,” Stoops said. “That’s a lot of money. Ask the kids who have to pay it back over 10-15 years with student loans. You get room and board, and we’ll give you the best nutritionist, the best strength coach to develop you, the best tutors to help you academically, and coaches to teach you and help you develop. How much do you think it would cost to hire a personal trainer and tutor for 4-5 years?
“I don’t get why people say these guys don’t get paid. It’s simple, they are paid quite often, quite a bit and quite handsomely.”
Welp. We could certainly spend some time poking holes in Stoops's argument against paying players—which he seems to have lifted straight from the Pro Football Talk comments section—but that's not what should make us angry about this column. We should be angry about just how unapologetically Stoops is willing to portray himself as a glowering cretin who sets out to infantilize and marginalize his players. To wit:
“Sam Bradford was one of the most humble and grounded players I’ve ever been around; he got it,” Stoops said. “But I even told him, what makes you think those fans in the stands are wearing No.14 for you? Who says it’s not an old Josh Heupel jersey? I tell our guys all the time. It could be you—or it could be anyone else.
“Those 70,000 fans in the stadium are cheering and buying tickets to see Oklahoma.”
Blunt? Yes. Fair? You better believe it.
And there is a perfect example of what is really gross about college sports. Of course those people in the stands were wearing Bradford's jersey, and Stoops's attempt to downplay the significance of that fact to his star player in the name of humility speaks volumes about the absurdity of the NCAA. When coaches have to start feeding their players monumental lines of bullshit in order to keep them in line and the house of cards upright, maybe it's time to start reconsidering the validity of the whole endeavor.