Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace is an advocate of college athletes being paid.
"It's just a messed-up system and messed-up situation," he said Tuesday, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. "But it's not going to change."
Hensley noted Wallace was responding to a tweet from ESPN's Darren Rovell revealing the coaching staff of the Alabama Crimson Tide received $1.27 million in bonus money after beating Georgia in Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
Wallace further explained he struggled for meals while he was a player at Ole Miss:
Mike Wallace @Wallace17_daKid
Yet players get nothing!! I remember being in college literally wondering where my next meal was gonna come from.. Couldn’t call home because I knw my mom didn’t have it and didn’t wanna put that burden on her knowing her child was hundred of miles away with nothing to eat smh https://t.co/EIMlCvJhaZ
According to Hensley, Wallace said he typically had $180 each month after he paid his bills and often couldn't even rely on the school's meal plan because the cafeteria was closed following his study hall.
The topic of paying college players consistently comes up around the title game, which Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated noted drew an average of more than 27 million viewers Monday.
It's not as if there isn't a significant amount of money tied into major college football either, as Wallace pointed out. Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes passed along some of the financial numbers surrounding Monday's game, including the following:
$6 million: The money conferences receive if a team makes the four-team playoff field
$3,017: The average resale price of a ticket
$1.2 million: The cost of a 30-second commercial during the game
$11.13 million: Nick Saban's salary this season
$7.3 billion: The price ESPN paid to televise the College Football Playoff for 12 years
Wallace acknowledged the coaches deserve the money they receive but stressed his belief the players should be given an additional $1,000 per month. "You're not going to be living lavish," he said. "You're just going to be living normal."
The players on Alabama's side helped earn those bonuses for their coaches Monday with a 26-23 overtime victory over their conference rival.