During Saturday's college football games, 28 players at the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Northwestern University wore wristbands marked with "APU"—short for All Players United—as part of a movement calling for NCAA reform, including efforts to minimize brain trauma and care for players who sustain brain injuries, as well as more money in scholarship aid for athletes.
This didn't sit well with Iowa State University Athletic Director Jamie Pollard, who is making $900,000 this year thanks in large part to the sacrifices of the Cyclones' student-athletes (that figure factors in a one-time retention payment of $400,000 he got for sticking around for eight years). He went on a Twitter rant yesterday afternoon calling out protesters:
Yet to hear one realistic plan how to pay players without eliminating all other sports. Value of Education versus Arena FB or D League.— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Ask a student body member with thousands of dollars of debt at graduation how they feel about a student-athlete saying they should be paid?— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Athletic scholarships provide Accessibility and Affordability, two of our nation's biggest challenges facing higher education. #education— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Only one that is going to be paid from "pay for play" are the lawyers. Time for silent majority to stand up and value education!— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Pollard points out the long-term value of #education, but that's a tough sell to the 38 percent of Iowa State football players (and 50 percent of Iowa State men's basketball players) who don't graduate within six years, according to the NCAA. And take note, silent majority: Using increased TV revenue to pay for medical coverage and increased scholarship aid for athletes would have no bearing whatsoever on rising student debt.