NCAA Top 5: College athletes who got paid to play

Nov 18, 2010 |
How much coin were you carrying in college? These guys had more.

You can argue all you want that college athletes should get paid. But the fact of the matter is – they do. It’s been happening for decades and it’s not a secret. Only the naïve refuse acknowledge it.

In the wake of Cam Newton’s controversy with Mississippi State, and possibly Auburn, this age-old practice is being thrust into the national spotlight again.

In this week’s NCAA Top 5, we look at five players who got paid to play … allegedly.

Reggie Bush

The NCAA has turned Bush into the poster boy for college football’s modern corruption. Yahoo! Sports reported that Bush and his family received more than $100,000 worth of financial benefits while he was at Southern Cal. His parents allegedly shacked up for free at a $750,000 California house and received $28,000 to help settle past debts.

Bush wasn’t starving by any means, either. Reports of $1,500 weekly payments and luxury hotel suites suggest he was partying at a different level than the USC frat boys.

Chris Webber

C-Webb hopped on the gravy train at an early age and reportedly started getting paid in junior high. It continued when he arrived at Michigan as a part of the Fab 5. Wolverines booster Ed Martin took care of the players for years, using money from an illegal gambling ring run in local auto plants.

Martin, who worked his way into the program during coach Steve Fisher’s tenure, kept paper records that showed hundreds of thousands of dollars in clothes, jewelry and food he had given to Wolverines players, according to the New York Times

When the shit hit the fan, Webber lied to federal prosecutors and was charged with perjury. During the trial, Martin died of a heart attack.

Webber would eventually plead guilty to criminal contempt over the ordeal and was forced to pay $100,000 fine and perform 200 hours of community service.

It’s not known whether or not Webber paid the fine in cash.

Eric Dickerson

According to Michael Troupe, author of Necessary Roughness, Dickerson was told he could have his choice of “five of anything he wanted” if he’d commit to play for the Texas Longhorns. Evidently, SMU offered more.

Dickerson first came under scrutiny when he showed up driving a new Trans Am his senior year of high school. He chose to play for SMU and led the Mustangs on a prolific run in the early 1980s, the peak time of SMU’s pay-to-play system. Boosters created a slush fund and funneled under-the-table money to the players. Athletic officials were aware of it all. It cost SMU its program, when the NCAA handed down the death penalty in 1987.

Dickerson, of course, went on to make millions and have a Hall of Fame NFL career

Marcus Camby

The Big Lanky - Camby is one of the reasons John Calipari first got a bad reputation. One of them.

Camby got in bed with multiple agents during his time at UMass, with reports having him pocketing more than $40,000 in cash and j

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