I agree with Zach Mitcham’s column (July 7) of the proposed NIL laws in that they could create more problems than they solve. But, it raises one question in my mind. For example, if another Trevor Lawrence comes along and before he plays the first game, he’s already making half a million dollars, will he be required to pay for his education?
You know, compensating college athletes is not a new concept. I was a freshman at Clemson in 1956 and the dormatory room that my roommate and I was assigned happened to be next door to two football players. Now Clemson was behind the times because athletes lived, ate, and went to class with everybody else.
One of the players was Harold Olson, a big lineman from Atlanta. Harold was highly recruited and one time in a bull shooting session, he told about some of his recruiting trips. The most interesting was at the University of Florida. Not only was he offered a scholarship, but he as told there would be a car outside his dorm, full of gas, with the keys in the glove box. Now, they emphasized that they were not giving him a car, but one would be available in case he needed it.
He was also told that he would need to have a job so he could have a little spending money. The wife of one of their professors had a pair of prize poodle dogs. These dogs needed walking twice a week and that would be his job. For that, he would be paid one hundred dollars a week. Keep in mind, this is in the mid fifties when a hundred a week was the average of college graduates.
Of coarse to all of us listening to this, the obvious question was, “ Olson, what the hell are you doing at Clemson?”
He said that he wanted to study mechanical engineering and he knew that he could do that at Clemson. All coach Frank Howard offered him was an education, a place to sleep and eat. After Clemson, Harold went on to play for the Buffalo Bills and the Denver Broncos. The last I heard of him was that he was a Methodist minister in Honea Path, South Carolina.