There were some strong reactions from the sports world earlier today when an excerpt from what was a four-hour interview with Arian Foster was released from the EPIX documentary “Schooled: The Price of College Sports.” Foster admitted to taking money while at the University of Tennessee, and claimed he needed it because he didn’t have money to eat. Some agreed with his plight, saying that the college athlete is unfairly taken advantage of as the school and the coaches profit from them, while others rolled their eyes at Foster’s story about an empty fridge. But nobody from the media gave a stronger rebuke of Foster than ESPN’s analyst Dick Vitale.
@GreggDoyelCBS When they put their hand out like a prostitute & take it they don’t say a word – moaning yrs later = SAD!
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) September 20, 2013
Dickie V’s comments were not met with much fanfare. Many believed it to be a cheap shot at Foster, and spoken with hypocrisy, as Vitale is one who made a living off of athletes like Foster while they were in college. Of course, it is probably safe to say that Foster is worth more than his former coach at Tennessee, thanks to the opportunity given to him because of the scholarship he received, but that is neither here nor there at the moment.
Vitale is right that Foster broke the rules by having his hand out, and that it is illegal in the NCAA, just as prostitution is in most places.
While I call BS in that Foster was going hungry (no college football player is void of food, even if they live off campus), I have no reason to doubt him about taking money. I also think this is Foster’s way of attempting to help future athletes to get more money, if not a paycheck, maybe an extra stipend.
Update: Dick Vitale has since apologized for his comment.