OU Football Coach Bob Stoops: Paying College Athletes Could Be 'Risky'

"When they become employees, there is a lot that goes with that."

Oklahoma Sooners head football coach Bob Stoops doesn’t shy away from the ongoing debate on whether student-athletes should be paid.

When Stoops spoke with HuffPost Live’s Alyona Minkovski last Friday about his partnership with Dove, the winningest coach in school history stated that it would be a slippery slope if players were to be compensated during their college career. He explained:

We are doing more. There is more supplemental money and cost of attendance money that the players are getting now, which is a move in a positive direction for them. I think you have to be careful. When they become employees, there is a lot that goes with that. [If] you're an employee, you can be fired, probably. There is a lot that comes with an employee, and how you are paid. I think this amateur model has been pretty positive in this country over the years. Let's be careful how much we look to adjust it.

That cost of attendance cash comes from the NCAA, which is contributing $18.9 million -- about $55,000 for each of the nearly 350 Division I programs -- that is divided among student athletes on the basis of need, according to each school's financial aid guidelines. An effort to supplement that money in the form of an annual $5,000 deferred compensation payment was shot down Wednesday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Oklahoma is the sixth-most financially valuable college football program in the country, bringing in a whopping $103.4 million in estimated program revenue. Stoops himself takes home $5.25 million per year.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops here.

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