Former TU Quarterback Weighs In On Pay-For-Play Debate

Thursday, September 26th 2013, 6:04 pm
By: News On 6

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics met this week to talk about a number of items.

At the top of the list is whether or not college athletes should be paid.

Game day at the University of Tulsa means the tailgating tents are ready and the flag is flying with blue-and-gold pride.

Former TU star quarterback Paul Smith is a financial adviser now.

Smith said he's forever grateful for the chance to play college football and earn an education on the university's dime. The average yearly cost to attend the University of Tulsa is a little more than $43,000.

Smith estimates the cost for his scholarship during his career was close to $200,000. His wife also was a TU scholarship athlete in soccer.

"I feel that I was very well taken care of, but I also see that I brought a value and many others have brought a value above what we received as our scholarship," Smith said.

The question of whether college athletes should be paid beyond their scholarship seems to be never ending.

Supporters say college athletes bring in tons of money for their schools. Critics say paying them would just create more problems.

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics released a statement Wednesday saying they're against it.

The organization's president said: "Pay for play has no part in the amateur setting. … Student-athletes with a full scholarship have no loan to pay back."

Smith agrees with the athletic directors.

He wonders how the money would be divided.

For example, would the starting QB get more money than the backup tight end?

Plus, Smith says, a pay-for-play scenario would put schools like TU at a disadvantage.

"Tulsa markets and smaller markets, mid-size markets, they're going to struggle against the Floridas, the OUs, the USCs, the Alabamas."