University of Texas president Gregory L. Fenves is among the growing list of college administrators opposed to paying student-athletes.
In an interview as part of a class-action lawsuit, Fenves said he “cannot comprehend” how players could be paid.
Fenves and other administrators were interviewed by University of Virginia economics professor Kenneth G. Elzinga as part of the suit. Elzinga’s notes from the interviews were recently made public.
Elzinga quotes Fenves as saying he “cannot comprehend how athletics could be a part of university life” if the players were paid. Fenves also relayed an anecdote about watching a talented freshman Longhorns basketball player make some mistakes “like a freshman” and that if he had been paid, fans would have been less patient.
Elzinga also writes that Fenves “believes that students go to games to watch their fellow students compete, and that that they would not be as interested in attending if the players were professional.”
Texas’s athletic department earned $179.6 million in the 2014–15 school year. The football team recently announced that every player will have a 43-inch television atop his locker. Each locker costs $10,500.