Nebraska wide receiver Kenny Bell lived without power or running water for a week and a half, reports CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd.
Bell, who has led the Cornhuskers in receiving yards for three straight seasons, recently returned to his off-campus residence to find the utilities shut off due to unpaid bills. With a lack of funds, Bell was forced to take a job as a bartender to get the power back on in his apartment. He often worked double shifts, 3 p.m. - 3.a.m. to make up the difference.
Bell's story speaks to the larger issue of compensation in college athletics, and comes after a federal judge ruled against the NCAA in an antitrust suit brought by a group of plaintiffs led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon. The suit dealt directly with the inability of amateur athletes to receive compensation for their name, image and likeness rights.
Though Bell is thankful for the opportunity he has to play for Nebraska, he tells CBS that the lack of income is a constant problem for amateur athletes:
"We get an opportunity. We get an education. We get more connections than anyone could ever ask for, which is all fantastic. But when you talk about capitalism, people use the word 'exploited' because we're athletes. People don't come to the game to watch the coaches on the sideline. They come to watch the players play the game. The fact that guys barely have enough money to pay their bills, get gas, can't really take their girlfriends out for a movie very often. It's a tough thing when you talk about multibillion-dollar TV contracts."
Bell, who is entering his senior year at Nebraska, could leave the school as the all-time leader in receptions and yards.
-- Alex Suskind