UConn Star Says He Goes to Bed Starving Despite Winning NCAA Championship, Making Millions For School
Shabazz Napier made everyone take notice as the top prospect led the University of Connecticut to an NCAA Championship on Monday night. It’s his comments from last week that are drawing the attention of lawmakers, however.
Last week, Napier addressed Northwestern University’s attempt to unionize college athletes, saying he didn’t consider himself an employee, nor did he want to make “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” but the soon-to-be NBA star said he does think he should have been paid.
“We as students athletes get utilized for what we do so well, and we’re definitely best to get a scholarship to our universities,” Napier said. “But at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything. We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed. I don’t think you should stretch it out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing, because a lot of times guys don’t know how to handle themselves with money.”
“I just feel like a student-athlete, and sometimes, like I said, there’s hungry nights and I’m not able to eat and I still got to play up to my capabilities,” he says. “When you see your jersey getting sold — it may not have your last name on it — but when you see your jersey getting sold and things like that, you feel like you want something in return.”
“I don’t feel student-athletes should get hundreds of thousands of dollars, but like I said, there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I’m starving,” he added.
Many people agree. One Connecticut lawmaker told CNN that “He says he’s going to bed hungry at a time when millions of dollars are being made off of him. It’s obscene. This isn’t a Connecticut problem, this is an NCAA problem.”