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Tyrell Crosby Wrote to NCAA When Teammates Went Hungry

Tyrell Crosby shares how he supported teammates while at Oregon.

Empty fridges were a common sight, according to Tyrell Crosby, during his time at Oregon. 

Packs of ramen noodles would line the pantries of the apartments and houses of his teammates at Oregon during his college years.

To combat this, Crosby wrote an email to NCAA President Mark Emmert during his sophomore year. The subject of this email, he said in a tweet, was about his teammates who couldn’t afford meals during the summer. He says this was during a time when meals weren’t made available, and the stipend that athletes was given was trimmed.

Now a Lions offensive lineman, Crosby took to Twitter Monday to air a grievance with the NCAA. 

Amateurism -- and what it entails -- has become a hot-button issue. And, on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Shawne Alston in the Alston v. NCAA case.

This ruling means that the NCAA’s regulations of student-athlete compensation are a violation of the government’s antitrust law.


Crosby detailed his experience as a college football player in a seven-tweet thread Monday.

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In Crosby’s case, these empty fridges he’d see were often a result of the NCAA’s unwillingness to compensate or allow student athletes to gain compensation through their name, image and likeness, or NIL.

On Monday, that changed with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not playing their workers a fair market rate,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. “And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different.”

Crosby said that upon news reaching campus of his letter, he was pressed by then-Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich.

Crosby said in his Twitter thread that the people around him, such as his uncle, girlfriend and neighboring families, ensured he wouldn’t go hungry.

He made a powerful point by tweeting that the same teammates that took the field in the 2015 national championship, one that sold tickets for an average of $858, according to the USA Today, often went hungry at night.

“So, I’d go over to guys cribs, and there’d be a completely empty fridge, then maybe some ramen packs in the pantry and that’s it,” Crosby tweeted. “Mind you, I’m talking about guys who were playing in a National championship game a few months prior. A game that had tickets selling for well over $1,000.”

Now, like some of his teammates from that 2014-15 Oregon team that finished runner-up, Crosby is a professional, and is paid a healthy amount to play football. However, that was never the case as a student athlete.

With Monday’s ruling, that begins to change.