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Stoops: players are already paid…handsomely

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NORMAN – If you think veteran Sooners head football coach Bob Stoops agrees that his players deserve an “extra” payment along with their full scholarships, think again. Stoops made some controversial comments in a just-published article in “The Sporting News” in an article written by Matt Hayes. Despite multi-million if not billion dollar TV contracts, huge money made by merchandise sales and bulging donations for luxury suite rentals, Stoops does not feel like his players should get additional funds.

Why? “You know what school would cost here (at OU) for a non-state guy? Over $200,000 for room, board and everything else,” Stoops said in the article. “That’s alot of money. Ask the kids who have to pay it back over 10-15 years with student loans. You get room, 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 (players) don’t get paid. It’s simple: they are paid quite often, quite a bit and quite handsomely.”

Critics say it's easy for Stoops to speak out since he is one of America's highest paid coaches at almost $5-million per season. Stoops says he's merely adding perspective to kids who need it. "I wouldn't be here today if I wasn't a football player at the University of Iowa. To have that experience with Hayden Fry, Dan McCarney, Barry Alvarez, Bill Snyder, Kirk Ferentz - those were all of my coaches there. You think I'm here at Oklahoma without that experience of learning and growing under them? So all these kids I'm coaching now that are getting paid to go to school, they can be in my spot when they're 52 years old too - or they could not. They're getting a background to have a chance to do it."

Stoops continued in the article saying it's up to the players to take full advantage of a unique opportunity that most regular students don't get...a full scholarship. "I've always said college is more about proving you can make it on your own. Proving you can go through the process and come out on top and be ready for the world. The typical student here leaves our University and he has a boatload of student loans to pay back. Our players leave not owing a dime to anyone."