Torii speaks on payment for college athletes


Torii Hunter
Torii Hunter

Two of Torii Hunter’s four sons are college football players this year: Torii, Jr. is a junior wide receiver at Notre Dame, and Monshadrik (“Money”) is an Arkansas State junior defensive back.

The MSR asked their father would he favor his sons getting paid while playing. “There should be some compensation” said Hunter, a multi-time Major League all-star outfielder with the Minnesota Twins, who began his career in 2000 and ranks in the top ten among active MLB players in games, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI and runs. He pointed to, for example, the selling of players’ jerseys and merchandise and how none of the revenue goes to the players.

More than likely, Hunter, as a well-paid professional athlete, can afford to send his sons to college. But this might not be the case for many college players, especially if they came from low-income families: “A lot of these guys don’t have money to go to a movie or to do anything,” said the Twins outfielder.

And while he also echoed the tired-old refrain often heard from opponents of the idea of paying college players, such as the NCAA, Hunter avoided completely siding with that side of the argument. “I think getting school paid for [for the players] is the payment that a lot of NCAA officials are trying to make…” he noted.  However, when informed of college coaches’ multi-million dollar salaries, especially in big-time college football and men’s hoops, Hunter just shook his head in disbelief. “It’s hard to come up with a system” to fairly pay college players, he said. “I don’t know how you can do that.”

Read more on paying college players in “Another View” in this week’s MSR print and web edition.


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