Stephen A. Smith spoke at the University of Florida last night and his words didn't come cheap. The ESPN shouter agreed to be paid $26,500 for 45 minutes of speaking, 15 minutes of questions and answers, and a "reception for student leaders," according to his contract with the university.
So how did it go? The Independent Florida Alligator covered the event at the 1,700-seat Phillips Center and shared a few of Smith's words of wisdom. Smith said he didn't think he should have been suspended by ESPN for his comments on domestic abuse.
After an audience question about journalists being censored by networks, Smith spoke at length about his recent weeklong suspension by ESPN after his on-air comments about Ray Rice's domestic violence situation.
Smith said he chose his words poorly but did not think he deserved to be suspended after his comments.
"Under no circumstances should you put your hands on a woman," he said at the event.
Smith also delivered this self-analysis:
"I don't believe I'm negative," Smith said. "I believe I'm real."
The Alligator reports that Smith was greeted with a standing ovation. His contract said he also got dinner at the Swamp restaurant, better known as that place near the stadium where the beer always flows, the frat boys always pop their collars, and everybody loves your pooka shell necklace.
Smith was brought to speak by ACCENT, a student government agency funded by student fees, so his contract is a public record. The full contract is below.