Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is going to earn millions of dollars in the National Football League at some point in the not-so-distant future. For now, he’s nothing more than an unpaid student athlete at a university that makes millions simply due to his own existence on its football team.
Winston doesn’t seem too worried about this, as he indicated in an interview with NFL.com (h/t College Football Talk).
We’re blessed to get a free education… and that’s enough for me.
This is not a popular stance around the college and professional football worlds. Considering that the NCAA and universities around the United States combine to earn billions annually from these student-athletes, some have drawn the conclusion that they should get paid.
I think that’s the main purpose in college. Some athletes lose that perspective. It’s about being a student-athlete, and not just getting that easy money and going to the league. Even if kids leave early, I would want them to come back and get that degree.
It’s most definitely a refreshing take from someone who will enter the 2014 season as the reigning Heisman Trophy Award Winner and face of the defending National Champions. However, it could be a tad simple minded in that these universities are receiving financial windfalls due to the popularity of individual football players such as Winston.
The Florida State quarterback seems intent on maintining this stance. It was reported earlier this offseason that Winston has all the intentions to play at Florida State until he receives his degree. Considering that he’s likely going to be one of the top prospects heading into the 2015 NFL draft should he declare, this shows his commitment to education over football.