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Football: Keenan Allen healthy and eager; makes fair argument for college players to be paid

Three months after undergoing surgery on his right ankle to repair a pickup basketball injury, Cal preseason All-America wideout Keenan Allen is moving well and excited about a season now just two months away.

I visited with Allen this morning at the Bears’ football offices, and he said his recovery is ahead of schedule.

“My ankle is doing very good. It feels completely normal — it doesn’t have any pain,” he said.

Doctors told him three or four weeks ago he could beginning running straight ahead, without making changes of direction.

“A week and a half ago, I started cutting. That was feeling real good so they said I could start running a little bit of routes,” Allen said.

Cal’s players report to training camp Aug. 3 in preparation for their Sept. 1 opener at renovated Memorial Stadium against Nevada.

“Right now I think I’m back full speed,” he said.

Allen’s only restriction: Basketball.

“I would say (it’s) on hold, not over,” he said of his hoops career. “It’s definitely not going to make me any money.”

Allen likely will be preparing for the NFL by this time next season — he said he only would reeturn for his senior campaign if he’s not going to be a first-round draft pick.

In the meantime, he continues to earn exactly what every other Division I football player does — a full scholarship and not a dime more.

Given the news this week that college football is headed to a four-team playoff following the 2014 season – bringing more money still to the sport — I asked Allen whether it’s time players get a slice of the pie.

“I definitely would like to see college football players get paid,” he said. “I think it would bring another encouragement, motivation to the players. It’s definitely — I wouldn’t say a struggle — but it’s definitely hard. Just going from high school, being with your parents for 18 years, then you come here by yourself and it’s hard to maintain (the standard of living).

“Being paid would definitely be great.”

And perhaps only fair, given that every other participant in college football cashes in on some level.

“On behalf of the guys who have jerseys out there that are being worn, that could be another reason to get paid, too,” Allen suggested.

When I asked if being paid is ever discussed among players, Allen said, “We always talk about it.”

So I asked him how much would be fair or appropriate, and Allen gave it a bit of thought, trying to figure how many games BCS playoff teams could wind up playing (as many as 15, possibly), and came up with a number.

“I would definitely say about $10,000, something like that.” he said. “”Why not? I don’t see what would be wrong with it. I think it is fair.”

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Faraudo

  • Nor-Cal Scott

    $10,000? He’s kidding, right? Scholly gets players a dorm room or stipend for apartment, and the training table. I was thinking “pocket money” for stuff like movies, junk food, beer & weed, etc. Maybe $300 per month, or $3,600 per year.

    Jeff, ask Mark Brazinski if you can read his term paper on this subject. He did it this past year, tweeted about it, and I asked to read it. It was pretty good.

  • http://CapitolGoldBuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    Pay each player $10/hr for practice time, film time, game time and travel time and I assure you it would amount to more than $10K/yr. Just sayin…

  • Hungry

    not gonna happen

  • Juancho

    They do get paid, it’s called a scholarship. Regardless of whether sports make schools money the individual students shouldn’t get paid.

    Cal’s biggest asset is its academic brand. And the reason for that is the academic students.

    Some of those students are lucky enough to get full scholarships. And they appreciate that as their payment.

    Athletes need to take a step back and get some perspective.

    If football players get paid that should open them up to performance standards, i.e., a 6-7 season and they all get a pay cut. Or a GPA beneath a 3 and they have to reimburse the school the money.

    I am not open to the idea of paying athletes or academic nerds anymore than a full scholarship.

  • Sean

    NCAA should have a slush fund for all D1 athletes. If he/she needs a few bucks here or there for food or hanging out, they ask for it, and NCAA puts it on their tab.

    After they graduate (or otherwise end their schooling), they reimburse the NCAA for the money they borrowed.

    If they end up getting drafted by a pro team, the pro team can repay the tab.

  • Juancho

    Sean in your system who funds the slush fund ? Is that money then that would have gone to univertisities but now goes to students who need a few bucks?

    How about this, these student athletes should be on the hook to pay the uc system a percentage of their tuition if they drop out.

    Health reform is historic. And we have kids wanting to get paid while getting full scholarships at public schools. These kids need some perspective and need to live a little.

  • Yoda

    I paid my own way through Cal. I’m not all that sympathetic. If I had my way they’d be cutting coaches’ salaries and reducing the amount of money involved, not turning the students into pros.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Read your own school newspaper and especially the comments.

    http://www.dailycal.org/2012/06/25/cal-athletic-teams-show-ambiguous-academic-progress/

  • Will

    We all know which school they should go to if they want to get paid under the table. I’ll give you a hint – SANCTIONS. LOL

  • BlueNGold

    If Allen wanted to be paid, he should have gone to the sleazy cheaters or one of those slimey schools in the southeast.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    So that Allen’s comments are not misconstrued, I want to make it clear that he merely was responding to questions I posed. He was not complaining, nor is he angry about the status quo. He simply said he thinks it would be fair if college football players — given how much money they help generate for their schools — were provided some money beyond their scholarships. I happen to agree with him.

    I don’t know Keenan’s financial background, but some kids arrive on big campuses from difficult circumstances, and seem almost out of place compared to other students in their classes. If a school can promote them and make money off them, I see no problem giving them a small slice of the pie. Of course, with all things, the devil is in the details.

  • David

    Thanks for the clarification, Jeff.

  • Juancho

    Disagree. It opens up a pandoras box of proffesionalizing student athletes. So do all programs pay the same even if they dont bring the same revenue ? What about cost of living ? What about walk ons ? What type of merchandising commitments would this mean for starts like barkley or andrew luck.

    How do you ensure the system doesnt end up being a financial stimulus for parents and entourages of agents as opposed to helping a student live that life.

    Does that mean parents should raise kids to focus on football to get a scholarship at a less prestigious school like a san jose state for instance bc the student will get paid as long as he plays football ?

    As a youth coach i would end up telling my kids go where you can get most money today. And that deviates completely from what a university experience is supposed to be.

    At that point turn college football into an association based relationship like how professional soccer leagues have schools that are associated with minor league teams.

  • Nor-Cal Scott

    “…devil is in the details.” Understatement of the decade. (OT: And I cant wait to read about the details of the Selection Committee. Something tells me it will favor the SEC & not the Pac12)

    Jeff, I understand your point about these S-A’s arriving on big campuses, far from home, and all from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Hello, welcome to college, and more importantly, the real world.

    But Juancho is correct, Cal’s biggest asset is it’s academic brand. And I agree with Hungry, it is not going to happen in the near future. I’m for a small amount, but the NCAA is not going to allow it.

  • ConcordBear

    If the NCAA wanted to do the right thing they would cap coaching staff/AD department salaries.
    They should also regulate in a lot of ways they are not now. Such as making penalties for breaking the rules much much tougher.
    I believe that only SA’s that come from a certain low level of socio-economic class deserve to be given additional scholarship money adjusted for cost of living. Because they do not have any extra time to get a job and earn extra money. Football and school is their job. Only SA’s that face this situation deserve more.
    The absurd level the NCAA itself, the AD’s and coaches make money right now is not in the best interests of education. Education is what college is supposed to be about.
    Sports are a great and very important part of college but it needs to be regulated and reined in a bit.
    This would not hurt the game. It would improve it for many schools and the least fortunate SA’s.
    Will the NCAA ever step up and do the right thing? Change is not a bad thing and I’d love to see it. The media and college presidents across the country need to push for changes such as these.
    Go Bears!!!

  • rotfogel

    Players should get paid in college. I would MUCH rather they be paid than some of the outrageous university execs getting huge payments. Couple that with the baboons from the BCS and it is indeed a crime that players, who are the ones actually producing anything, not getting paid. Those execs are just another form of criminal in my opinion, filthy low life scumbags.

  • http://CapitolGoldBuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    This is gonna be hard to read for ALL of us fans of college sports but the fact is that major “bigtime” sports really do not belong on college campuses at all in the first place. Universities are for book and life learning, sharing ideas and research. I don’t think that ANY other country in the world has such a bizarre relationship with their universities as we do with ours. Do they go gaga for college soccer in England – by far the most popular sport over there? There is no such thing – it is all done at a PRIVATE club level. And many if not most people in this country never even went to the schools they “support”, they just support the local team or the team that granpappy went to. And all of the above applies to High School sports as well. And I coach basketball in high school so obviously I have a vested interest in the status quo. But really, how did we get to this point with sports and universities? Like many many things ‘merican – things get bloated and blown way outta proportion sooner or later. $$$

    That being said, I hope Cal football continues for 100 more years in Strawberry Canyon!! Go Bears!

  • ConcordBear

    Sports are a valid and great part of HS and college life. The lack of regulations and leaders across the US allowing it to blow way out of proportion are the probelm.

  • B

    “$10,000? He’s kidding, right? Scholly gets players a dorm room or stipend for apartment, and the training table. I was thinking “pocket money” for stuff like movies, junk food, beer & weed, etc. Maybe $300 per month, or $3,600 per year.”

    Ok…is that the right amount of compensation? Why or why not? Keenan threw out $10,000. You threw out $300 a month. So…what’s the rationale for your number? (I would ask Keenan the same thing if he were posting and willing to discuss it)

    “They do get paid, it’s called a scholarship. Regardless of whether sports make schools money the individual students shouldn’t get paid.”

    Essentially same question – what makes that the appropriate amount they should make?

  • Juancho

    How do you incorporate facilities upgrades when it relates to student athlete payments? How much money and risk did Cal spend to fund the new facilities. And if the team doesnt win tickets wont sell. And as the wall street journal pointed out if that happens the ACADEMIC portion of our school will suffer.

    So in a scenario where the football playersnget paid, but the upgrades bankrupt chemistry, are the student athletes legally liable for the chemistry students who now have to transfer?

    Paying college students is way more complex than the intuition that “schools make money off of players”. Welcome to the real world and get used to it.

  • Juancho

    B- scholarship levels are set based on tuition, room and board and living expenses for each university. An academic full ride is the same as a sports full ride.

    Students can also apply for additional emergency moneys based on financial need.

  • Juancho

    By the way keenan is my favorite player on the team. When i was in school i probably would have said the same thing in his position. I can see how seeing jerseys with your number being sold would make you feel like you should get a cut.

    But i disagree with it because there are too many macro issues.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    http://coacheshotseat.com/coacheshotseatblog/

    #6…please keep him. He deserves another 5 year contract.

  • Will

    MoreNCS_are_ignored and sanctioned! troll post blocked

    Moren should be able to relate, he’s never held a paid job in his life LOL

  • Kevin Thomas

    What kid in college is thinking about maintaining his standard of living? How incredibly selfish.

    There are American kids his age dying in Afghanistan to protect his right to think these thoughts, and there are many students working a couple of jobs and taking a few more years to finish school. the University and the State are both in big financial trouble. And Allen is thinking about his standard of living. He is damn lucky he has the skills to perform on the athletic field, and that will give him a lucrative career as an entertainer in the NFL. What, he couldn’t wait to get his money?

  • Nor-Cal Scott

    “B” (#19)- I pretty much gave my answer in my first post (#1)…. pocket money for some extras: fast food, coffee maybe, taking a chick to a movie, joked about beer & weed, school supplies… etc. I simply based it on $300 x 12 months = $3,600.

    And I think if football players get a dime, so should every student-athlete. Hence, a reasonable amount per S-A is a must, like $3600 or maybe $4K, not $10K. Heck, that $10K figure breaks down to $192.3076 per week! Or, gulp, $833.333 per month.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Sorry Losers. Hutchings of De La Salle to SC.

    “It’s a long and drawn out process for Top 100 football recruits to pick their college of choice.

    When the nation’s No. 100 recruit – De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) linebacker and tight end/running back Michael Hutchings – finally went through his long and cumbersome pro-and-con list, he decided on a college that most reminded him of where he is.

    That school was USC.

    Hutchings, a fast and hard-hitting 6-foot-2, 215-pound incoming senior, picked the Trojans Saturday over Pac-12 rivals Cal, Oregon and Washington.

    “A lot went into the process, but it came down to the combination of academics and athletics,” Hutchings said. “I talked with (Athletic Director) Pat Haden at length and he reminded me of the school’s high standards and tradition. It reminded me a lot of where I’m attending now (De La Salle).”

    Hutchings has been a starter on De La Salle’s last two state Open Division championship teams. He had a chance to be reunited with his former teammate, fellow linebacker and good friend Michael Barton at Cal. Washington also was alluring, especially with former De La Salle standout Tosh Lupoi as an assistant coach and top recruiter.

    And De La Salle has also had a long line of athletes contribute at Oregon.

    But USC, with its terrific business department, and football coaching staff was too much for Hutchings to pass by, he said. Hutchings is the seventh Top 100 recruit from 2013 to commit to the Trojans, who should move up from its No. 5 team recruiting ranking.”

    HAHAHAHA…taken right out of your backyard.

  • Juancho

    Agree with Kevin Thomas & NorCal Scott’s posts above.

    Kevin, I bet that it’s not really the student athletes who need or want the extra money, it’s their support system that pushes these ideas in their head.

    NorCal Scott – one of the things that irked me this past week is that they’re trying to make the debate now about paying football players only. Not all student athletes. That is incredibly bad and not what universities should be doing.

    How easy we forget that baseball and rugby were just put to sleep a year ago and brought back by private donors, and again talk about paying college football players is out there. To me it’s ludicrous.

  • B

    “What kid in college is thinking about maintaining his standard of living? How incredibly selfish.

    There are American kids his age dying in Afghanistan to protect his right to think these thoughts, and there are many students working a couple of jobs and taking a few more years to finish school. the University and the State are both in big financial trouble. And Allen is thinking about his standard of living. He is damn lucky he has the skills to perform on the athletic field, and that will give him a lucrative career as an entertainer in the NFL. What, he couldn’t wait to get his money?”

    Hmmm? Do you take that attitude for anyone who tries to negotiate for more money? What I’m trying to figure out – and this really applies to all the responses to my question – what makes a college football player so fundamentally different than the rest of us? Why do we treat them so differently than everyone else? When I go out into the job market, I don’t face people getting upset when I ask for more money. I don’t face a nationwide organization artificially capping my salary. What’s the basis of all this pushback? Why is $300 a month in spending money as Nor-Cal Scott suggested appropriate (on top of the scholarship, of course, that definitely counts as pay)? There’s generally a mechanism in place for the rest of us to figure out how much we get paid – how much the market offers, how in demand we are, how well we negotiate, etc. For them…it’s just some arbitrary amount set because…? That’s what I’m getting at. What reason is there for that to be the chosen amount? You have to have a real basis for saying they only deserve X amount, right?