Considering he was a ground-breaking visionary when it came to paying college football players in the 1970s and 1980s, you’d think Barry Switzer – the disgraced former OU football coach turned wealthy Norman drunk who brought shame and embarrassment to his program – would have a soft spot for allowing college athletes to profit from their name or likeness like any other individual over the age of 18.
It would make sense.
Barry Switzer was famous for being a “players coach” who, thanks to his own difficult upbringing, could identify with some of the challenges and financial hardships many college athletes face, so he’d obviously be all for them making money… right?
Well, because we live in a golden age of hypocrisy, that answer is “No.”
News 9 recently caught up with the guy who made millions and millions and millions of dollars off the backs of unpaid collegians – and is infamous for endorsing any product or politician for the right price – to get his thoughts on the growing movement to allow college athletes those same freedoms. These were his thoughts:
“I’m totally against it,” former OU and Dallas Cowboys head football coach Barry Switzer said. “What’s a scholarship worth? $100,000 – $150,000?”
Seriously, how can Barry Switzer not want to pay college football players?! I’m pretty sure he wrote the book on it! Not only is it the right and sane thing to do, but it may prevent some players from selling crack cocaine, robbing their drug dealers or pimping out cheerleaders just to earn a little bit of money.
Switzer said athletes are alreadycompensated through full ride scholarships. The former coach told News 9 he fears the promise of paid endorsements will disrupt the recruiting process.
“I don’t want others outside the athletic department involved in it, the kids having agents,” Switzer said. “When you bring other people into the fray, the kid being recruited in Dallas, Texas has got a better chance than a kid in Stillwater, Oklahoma, doesn’t he, to market his likeness. That’s not fair, is it?”
Hey coach, know what else isn’t fair? Not allowing 18 – 22 year-olds to profit off their likeness while they serve as glorified indentured servants for Universities, all while their coaches, administrators and lots of other people and institutions make out like bandits. Then again, I’m not an old, washed-up hypocritical college football coach who spends each day desperately clinging to the past with his jock-sniffers, so what do I know.
Anyway, I think it’s virtually impossible to make a logical and reasonable case that college athletes in revenue-generating sports shouldn’t be allowed to earn endorsement deals, sell autographs, etc. That being said, I also know some people – especially the conservative, white types who have greatly profited from the inequities of the collegiate athletic system– love to try to perform that mental gymnastics routine. If that’s you, give it a shot in the comments.