NFL Draft

Jadeveon Clowney Says He Would 'Probably' Have Stayed at South Carolina If Paid

South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney warms up before the start of an NCAA college football game against Florida Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)
RICHARD SHIRO/Associated Press
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2014

Maybe paying college athletes isn't a bad thing after all if it means players like Jadeveon Clowney stay another year or two.

The South Carolina Gamecocks star revealed on Jim Rome on Showtime that if he would've been paid in college, perhaps he'd have remained in Columbia, S.C., for one more season.

Clowney mentioned that getting paid would've helped him take care of his family, which is often a major motivating factor for college stars forgoing their eligibility in order to enter the pros. He added that college athletes should get paid when considering how much money schools earn from ticket and jersey sales.

All told, it's hard to argue too much with Clowney's sentiment.

You also have to wonder if getting paid a base amount of money would've meant that the junior defensive end would've had a better 2013. He seemed to be going through the motions last year, with some wondering if he had basically quit in order to prevent a catastrophic injury ahead of the 2014 NFL draft.

It's unlikely that Clowney's comments alone will turn the tide much in terms of paying collegiate athletes. Yet he's just one more star who's lent his voice to the growing campaign for change in the NCAA. AJ McCarron made similar statements back in January.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide walks off the field after the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 2, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Sooners defeated the Crimson Tide 45-31.  (Photo
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The movement has been around for some time, but it wasn't really until Taylor Branch's opus in The Atlantic in October 2011 that many fans were able to see the entire scope of things and how broken the current system is.

The NCAA appears to have reached a point of no return, and it's only a matter of when, rather than if college athletes will be paid.

 

Follow me on Twitter @JosephZucker.

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