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Former Cat Dave Hopewell says there needs to be a way to provide extra funds for college athletes

Vaught’s note: I wanted to make sure everyone noticed these comments that former UK center Dave Hopewell, my co-host for a Thursday night radio show on WHIR during football season,  had in regards to the protest by some college football players wanting to draw attention to the need for the NCAA to provide stipends for college athletes.


I see both sides on this and see there needs to be lots of thought put in this for sure.

As a former student/athlete and out of state player who’s parents were gifted with love and caring but not a lot of $, I see and knew of the hardship it put on my parents to travel to our HOME games. I see and knew what it was like not to have any money in my pocket on some weekends for ME to eat let alone to do something extra. ($7/weekend for food & laundry $ and to eat at Duff’s Sunday Buffet was $4.00) I was willing to work anywhere I could pick up a dollar extra  but guess what, during school while on scholarship you can’t do that…under NCAA rules. My parents couldn’t stay with anybody either that was associated with UK because that was wrong to under NCAA rules. But guess what, they didn’t know anybody in KY that wasn’t associated with UK! So how does that work?

So where is the line?

If you saw all the little petty rules you’d be shocked. Like if you are a fan/booster and you want to pick up a couple of players who need a ride to church or home from the mall, technically you can’t do that. A coach can’t even do it! That my friend is crazy IMHO.

I’m not talking contracts either just something for the extra work that comes with being a student athlete. There is so much more than getting a free “education”. I really don’t understand that remark and I don’t think anyone else would if you understood all the other petty rules there are concerning student athletes on full scholarship.

Just stop and think, OK you are going to school and tuition, room and board and your meals are paid for and that’s it. What else will you need $ for? And oh by the way, while you are on full scholarship you can’t work for anyone during the school year (and by the way we want you in summer school too so you can work out and get better). Where does extra money for other expenses come from?

Before you say a “free education” is enough think about other expenses ALL students have. It’s just that the “normal” student athlete has the same extra expenses the “normal” student has but doesn’t have the same opportunity to work or do something other students can do to make a extra $ on. Let alone have the time to do it while trying to be a real student too.

I don’t have the answer for sure, I’m just saying there needs to be some changes.

Please don’t shoot the messenger I just want you to think about the other side. Bleacher Report reported the value of a Texas football player being almost $600,000/year! They were #1 and Arkansas was #10 with the value of a football player there close to $400,000/ year. Those scholarships are valued at less that $50,000/year on the high side I’m told now. Folks they can add a little and changes the rules some I’d think.

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  1. Winchester

    It is a free education. Many students are paying their own way. So it’s garbage to say set aside funds for the players. But with that being said, they need to be treated as any other student. Be able to work as the others do. When you start down the road to funds set aside, it WILL lead to totally paid players. Sure money comes in from TV contracts. They then become Pros. Then coaches will recruit with money “openly”, the amount to come later. UK has have several players since coach cal came in,that have used UK as a foot stool to the Pros’, with the blessing of calipari. If not then why is he not encourging them to stay in school ? If he is, then they’re not listening. I’m going to throw this out there. The butt kissing crowd will have a fit, but here goes. If the majority of the players in football and basketball where white, would the sports media, the race-baiters and butt kissers be shouting so loudly ?


    Great read and I totally agree. And while we are at it let’s allow them to go on job interviews at the end of the season without a deadline or punishment. That is effectively what they do when they put their names in the draft. A student on an academic scholarship can interview at Apple without jeopardizing his scholarship but a basketball player can’t workout for the NBA without taking the risk of losing eligibility and is forced to make a quick decision to try for the job instead of being allowed to take his time and make an informed decision. Something needs to be done.



  3. Ira

    While I agree there should be some rule changes, the petty rules are ridiculous. That being said, they are getting a free ride. I would love for my kids to get a 40-50K education for free. These same athletes get their meals free on the University as part of their scholarship, health care by some of these best sports medicine in the country maybe in the world, books tutoring and extra tutoring all free. BTW these kids are still eligible for the same loans as all the other students. While I don’t agree kids going in debt, managed properly and getting just enough for your needs from semester to the next and they wouldn’t leave school heavily in debt. I don’t buy these kids need to be paid. Last time I checked they are. Free 4 year education.

  4. Terry

    Ira – I could not agree more. The existing rules (well, the entire NCAA) needs to be reviewed and brought into the 21st century. Keeping in mind the needs of the student-athlete and the integrity of amateur athletics. In the meantime, student loans are available for these athletes (at least that’s my understanding) and these loans are sufficient for their ‘incidentals’. As a parent that has paid for 2 college degrees, it steams me a bit that a college athlete feels he / she should graduate debt free.

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