Pinkel favors paying athletes while they play in college

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel has changed his opinion on whether college athletes should be paid.

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel has changed his opinion on whether college athletes should be paid. Photo by The Associated Press.

Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel said he has changed his views on college athletes getting paid.

Pinkel, speaking on his website, said Monday he is in favor of paying college athletes.

“I think it’s the right thing to do, the fair thing to do. It’s not going to be a ridiculous amount of money, but it will certainly put an extra amount of money in their pockets so it can make their college life easier,” PInkel said.

Pinkel cited the increased revenues created by football and men’s basketball in particular as one of the reasons he thinks players should get paid.

He didn’t elaborate on how the money should be divided up among players or sports.

“Look at the millions and millions of dollars college football is making now,” Pinkel said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it as along as it’s done with clarity and it’s done with an understanding that we’re trying to help the kids, but we also don’t want to make it ridiculous.”

Pinkel and the Tiger players are not available to the media this week because of the bye week.

Pinkel is not the first SEC coach or administrator to weigh in on paying athletes. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was one of the first to support the issue back in 2011. During the conference’s media days in June, commissioner Mike Slive said he was in favor of a system to pay athletes.

The idea garnered more national attention recently when Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was questioned by the NCAA about whether or not he profited off autographs he signed for a memorabilia dealer earlier this year. The NCAA did not find any evidence Manziel accepted payment, but he was suspended for the first half of Texas A&M’s season opener against Rice anyway.

The debate on whether or not to pay college athletes was feature on this week’s cover of Time.

III

Markus Golden of the Tigers has been named the Southeastern Conference’s defensive linemen of the week.

Golden did not record a tackle in Saturday’s 38-23 victory against Toledo, but he came up with the arguably the game’s biggest play when he hit quarterback Terrance Owens, knocking the ball in the air and returning it 70 yards for a touchdown. That gave Missouri a 15-point lead early in the third quarter.

Missouri (2-0) is off until Sept. 21 when it plays at Indiana (7 p.m., Big Ten Network). The Hoosiers are 1-1 after Saturday’s 41-35 home loss to Navy. The Midshipmen ran for 444 yards in the game.

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