Houston Texans running back Arian Foster said he received extra benefits so he could afford rent and food while playing at Tennessee, in a documentary previewed on SI.com.
“I don’t know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation — my senior year, I was getting money on the side,” Foster said. “I really didn’t have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling of like, ‘Man, be careful.’ But there’s nothing wrong with it. And you’re not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it.
“There were plenty of times where throughout the month I didn’t have enough for food,” Foster said in the 90-minute documentary. “Our stadium had like 107,000 seats; 107,000 people buying a ticket to come watch us play. It’s tough just like knowing that, being aware of that. We had just won and I had a good game, 100 yards or whatever. You go outside and there’s hundreds of kids waiting for you. You’re signing autographs, taking pictures, whatever.
“Then I walk back, and reality sets in. I go to my dorm room, open my fridge, and there’s nothing in my fridge. Hold up, man. What just happened?”
Foster played at Tennessee from 2005-2008 under Hall of Fame coach Phillip Fulmer.
Producers of the documentary “Schooled: The Price of College Sports” interviewed Foster for four hours after approaching Foster in February.
Foster went on to describe a situation when he had no food or money and called his coach.
“Either you give us some food or I’m gonna go do something stupid,” Foster recalled.
The coach brought Foster and three others 50 tacos, as Foster recalls.
“I’m a firm believer that an employee should get paid for his work,” Foster said. “And, 100 percent, I see student athletes as employees. Hiding from it is just cowardly.”
This article was originally posted on ESPN.com