Horned Frog faithful (including myself) gathered last night at the Love Field Flight Museum for their annual Coaches Event. In addition to hearing AD Chris Del Conte’s view on various subjects including pay-for-play and Title IX, head football coach Gary Patterson joined head baseball man Jim Schlossnagle (fresh off another trip to the College World Series) and new ladies basketball coach Raegan Pebley on stage for a Q&A with Frogs radio color commentator John Denton. But first Coach Patterson warmed up the crowd singing a handful of songs while strumming an acoustic Martin guitar (which he signed and then was auctioned off).
Personally, I could sit and listen to Chris Del Conte for hours. I think the man is insightful, engaging, thought provoking and entertaining as all hell (especially one-on-one). Here’s what he had to say when asked about his opinion on paying athletes to play:
“When coaches bring student athletes in their programs they are changing their lives – an interesting statistic – do you now there are more African American men between the ages of 18 and 22 that are in prison in this country than are in college? 72% of the United States population does not have a college degree. 72 percent. I’m speaking to the choir (here). Intercollegiate athletics is changing lives – do I think we ought to pay everybody? No, emphatically no. However…do I think we ought to give them stipends? Sure. There’s no doubt about it. I’m a full believer of that”
“Now the full cost of attendance to go to TCU is about $54,000 (per year)- should we give a kid an extra $2000? With the $30 million we’re getting from television (by being in the Big 12) – you betcha. I have no qualms about it. Even if we didn’t get the $30 million you need to do that because its the right thing to do. Nothing has changed in scholarships since its inception in the ’30s, except coaches salaries have increased. But the scholarships (rules) have stayed the same. As we’re moving on we should do that (pay stipends) – but at the same time – I’m a track athlete. I am not a football player, I was not a basketball player. I was very fortunate to get a scholarship (and) that scholarship gave me a chance to be with you today. And growing up in a children’s home, let me tell you right now, athletics changed my life and gave me an opportunity. And that’s where we’re losing the message. We’re losing the message today that its (still) about paying a $250,000 scholarship (to the athlete), and that child can do something special with that.”
Only 43 days and 5 hours to kick-off. But who’s counting!