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Arian Foster admits to receiving money and tacos (yes, tacos) at Tennessee

In an interview from the upcoming documentary “Schooled: The Price of College Sports,” Arian Foster, now with the Houston Texans, admits he accepted money during his senior season at the University of Tennessee.

It wasn’t an under-the-table deal with an autographs broker or a pay-for-play situation, either. Foster says he was just trying to eat. Tennessee’s second all-time leading rusher recounts a time when he told a coach he had nothing and would have to resort to doing something dumb for food money, so the coach brought him and a few of his teammates 50 tacos, an SEC violation.

Foster said he hopes it doesn’t launch an investigation into his alma mater, but something has to be done for the players. He’s right, too. Foster played in front of 100,000 people on Saturdays, and after the stadium cleared out, he went home to an empty refrigerator.

Watch the interview here.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

56 Comments for Arian Foster admits to receiving money and tacos (yes, tacos) at Tennessee

  1. Good times
    3:03 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    I guess I always assumed all along that a scholarship offer to play for a university would have come with a room and a meal plan.

  2. J in Orlando
    3:07 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    1. Players are given a food allowance, but after they buy weed, they have to pick and choose which days to eat.

    It’s not like he played at UF where Erving Walker could you tacos whenever you wanted them.

  3. J in Orlando
    3:08 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    2. oops…I mean “Erving Walker could steal* you tacos”

  4. RonH54
    3:10 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    #1 You forgot they also got to get Tats before they eat.

  5. Travis
    3:10 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    I find that kinda sketchy. Ur telling me there wasn’t one place on campus where he could find something to eat and he had none of his meal plan or any other food allowance?

  6. MonkeyHumpnaFootball
    3:12 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Just goes to show, even after they leave them Vols are still low down dirty snitches. Even on themselves.

  7. cracka
    3:14 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    yeah, i’d like to hear someone from ut say “when foster was at ut, as a scholarship football player, we gave him __________, just like everyone else, to take care of his meals”

  8. Facts
    3:15 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Athletes receive a meal right after every game. Fact.

  9. Harold in KY
    3:19 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Most of these college kids have thousands of dollars worth of tattoes all over their body, but not enough money to eat? I have a hard time feeling sorry for them myself. Honestly, they get a free education, I had 7 years worth of student loans and no tattoes..cause i couldnt afford them.
    I have always wondered how kids from nothing can afford all the ink. maybe if these kids saved something they could eat, instead of ink.

  10. BOSOX
    3:22 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Ok, didn’t have money but why not get a “JOB?” I was reading about that and people were saying you cannot hold job while on scholarship. UMMMMM, didn’t Peyton Siva have a job while at UofL???? I don’t have time to read NCAA handbook no time for all that

  11. luvmesumcats
    3:26 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    1) Diamond earring
    2) Tats
    3) Weed
    3) Liquor
    4) Ho’s
    5) Rims
    6) Eat

  12. The Gambler
    3:27 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    This is so stupid. You get a FREE scholarship for college worth THOUSANDS of dollars and you get a FREE meal plan.

    I don’t want to hear about how athletes are “used”. I played college ball and enjoyed all of it. Some people just want attention.

  13. DavidBiloxi
    3:28 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Ok, I was on an athletic scholarship when I was in college. Granted school was paid for but I couldn’t spend a scholarship. There was no dollar value I could use to spend from it. We were not allowed to have a job even though basketball practice and games would have made it nearly impossible anyway. I was fortunate to have parents that had money to send. Many players on the team did not. When the cafe closed at night, that was it for them until the next morning. My girlfriend at the time on an acedemic scholly at the time. She was recruited for academics the same way I was for athletics, yet she could have any job she wanted and could also be paid for anything she did. We had the same meal plans and the same amount of money being paid via scholarship, yet she was free to do what she wanted when she wanted. She never played in front of 100,000 people. For the most part, she didn’t bring a in dime for the school. But for some reason athletics are so heavily regulated. Why? Because of money. These kids are making professional money but just not allowed to spend it. So Terell Pryor can’t give away a pair of pants wihtout getting suspended 3 games. But the suspension doesn’t start until after the BOWL GAME!! Because we need you to generate the money. NCAA is sad.

  14. Lukeman
    3:31 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    A taste for tacos is the same thing that got Mickie DeMoss in trouble at Kentucky.

  15. MonkeyHumpnaFootball
    3:34 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Bosox athletes are allowed to get part time jobs during the summer.

  16. MonkeyHumpnaFootball
    3:35 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    I may also be horribly incorrect. Facts is optional.

  17. wildcat whisperer
    3:38 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Somebody has to link this, might as well be me:

  18. trey
    3:41 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    A guy who played for Clemson a few years back held a construction job while going to school, playing football, and taking care of his brother at his apartment. ESPN ran a special on him during college gameday when he still played. So I guess its possible you can have a job while under an athletic scholarship. I don’t see any reason not to.

  19. DaveBiloxi
    3:48 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    The construction guy’s name was not Arian Foster, Tim Tebow, Clowney, or any other major superstar. Nolan Smith at Duke(I know, I know) got in trouble for playing in a summer basketball game that was not NCAA sponsored or approved. Junk is ridiculous.

  20. Jason Robinson
    3:54 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    This is absolutely insane. If there are changes to be made then move every athlete back onto campus and give them a food plan. If they get hungry at midnight after the cafeteria is closed then THEY SHOULD HAVE EATEN MORE FOR DINNER!

    I am sick and tired of people making bad decisions and then complaining that there are consequences to bad decisions.

  21. capt
    3:55 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    If it’s true, it makes me f**king sick!

  22. Honky Kong
    3:55 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Wha ?? Pay the rent ?? For a dorm room ??

  23. trey
    3:55 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    he was still a very good player, but the NCAA’s rules are ridiculous as you said. The big 6 conferences need to hurry up and disband to create a more sensible governing body.

  24. Missing the point
    3:57 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Cant believe a lot of you all are so upset with Tennessee.. The point is… A coach buys players taco’s for god sakes and it is a violation. I figured we would all agree that this is DUMB

  25. Will
    3:58 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    #14. WOW. Just wow.

  26. cristoforouk
    4:06 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    This being a violation is dumb, but this even being an issue is dumber. A star athlete should never have an issue eating. Any scholarship athlete at a D1 school shouldn’t have an issue eating. I really doubt he couldn’t find food if he really wanted it. Doesn’t UK have meals all laid out for the football team?

  27. wildbuck
    4:10 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Jason Robinson you are kidding right? EAT MORE FOR DINNER? NO 20 year old ever gets hungry after dinner, especially one that is burning all of the calories that an athelete would. You must work for the NCAA with that kind of reasoning ability.

  28. UKBLUE
    4:13 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    These X players are stupid for saying anything to give the NCAA ammo to come after the schools.

  29. inlinefor9
    4:16 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Jason Robinson – Yeahhhh, because you surely have never become hungry after dinner. And especially never in college. And I’m sure you had the metabolism of an 18-23 year old college football player.

    I’m still going back and forth on whether to pay these guys or not, but it’s truly amazing how high of a horse a lot of fans are on when this topic gets brought up.

  30. RICK
    4:17 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Thats BS, These guys have become cry babies, they get food just like everyone else. They do not need any extra benefits. Its should be fun and a honor to play any sport so please stop crying.

  31. Rockfield, KY
    4:23 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Before you jump on him, you should check out his background. He is a highly intelligent philosophy major and is speaking out because he believes that change has to come and someone has to spark it. I like him, even though he went to UT, and support his opinions I’d be proud to call Arian Foster an alumnus. These guys make the coaches and the NCAA all very rich and receive no compensation until they get drafted. The NCAA and schools sell their jerseys but they cannot make a penny from the sale.

  32. Good times
    4:32 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Agree that the NCAA is a waste of space, but you guys have to agree this article is ridiculous. It made it sound like he was starving and about to work the street or go rob someplace because he was that desparate for a meal… instead of you know… just waiting for breakfast. I don’t dispute that the NCAA and universities are making crazy money off of these kids, but let’s just be forthcoming and say they should get a cut.. not make them out to be little orphan Annie’s singing the “the sun will come out tomorrow” Distortion of truth weakens the cause.

  33. Musehobo
    4:52 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Good Times^ has it right. I’m all for the players being compensated cause they deserve it. But they have either a $35 a day per diem, or access to a cafeteria. I remember in college occasionally missing the meal hours, and being broke, I’d borrow a can of Ramen off a friend. This dude is acting like he was being starved.

  34. Cats Fan
    4:59 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Dang Foster is a thug. Last time I was hungry and had no cash (in college also), I just asked my girlfriend to take me out and then I’d pay her back later. And I’m pretty sure Foster had plenty of girls willing to do whatever he wanted in college. Hard to believe that he was a starving athlete, driven to such hunger that he considered robbing people. And some tacos solved everything, that’s probably the most amazing part. Why don’t we just pay the athletes in tacos? Star players can even get burritos. Problem solved.

  35. Georgia Blue
    5:06 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Closed your kitchen at 7:00 and see at 10:00 you get hungry. Until you been there you want understand. People are quick to judge Football Players but forget the billion that they generate from jersey sales and video games and the list goes on. Don’t CEO get bonus for what they do along with their salary. Why is it that Basketball and Football are the only 2 sports that you can’t play straight out of HS. Football and Basketball generate a lot of money for their UNIVERSITY

  36. BluKudzu
    5:07 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    This person chose to play football at UT. He accepted a scholarship to play NCAA football, and in doing so agreed to the rules and regulations of the school and the NCAA.

    This makes me furious. There is much that needs to be done by the NCAA and the universities, and to that point I totally agree.

    I am absolutely familiar with playing sports in college, and having a job. I was always broke, I never had a car, I never had money for jewelry, I never had money for tattoos, but I never was hungry.

    I knew my Coach was being compensated for the work he had done to get to the level he had attained. He had nice things, he worked hard to get there. I understood that I would have to work hard to get there too. I got that.

    What get’s me is the sense of unearned entitlement. Four years of eligibility, and if you have what it takes, you get the opportunity to do what you love everyday the rest of your life, and be rewarded in doing so, at levels, most people will never experience. If you do not, you work hard, get a degree, and hopefully you carry that on into your post atheletic career and become successful in something the University has provided the education to help you become successful.

    That is up to you. You signed the agreement. Threatening the coach, and breaking the rules is unaccetable. The Coach doing this for the entitled few broke the rules as well.

    How many others on the team went hungry and did not cheat? They are the ones who will pay dearly.

  37. trey
    5:12 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Im with 31. I’ve always liked the way Foster played and acted while he was at UT and fully support what he’s trying to do here in loosening up some whack rules.

  38. the realest
    5:38 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    i see the Repubs coming out in this thread…Now he is a thug because of tats and wanted some to eat,same ol hillbilly’s

  39. Jason Robinson
    5:48 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    All I’m saying is that if he lives on campus and has a meal plan he has the right to complain about stuff.

    If he lives off campus and blew his stipend on whatever then I don’t feel sorry for him.

    Move him back on campus, let him eat at the cafeteria, set up a snack room in the football complex for late night hunger.

    If he wants to live off campus, then he handles his own affairs and leaves the coaches and the university out of it.

  40. kingrex
    6:12 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    If some of you knew anything about Foster you would realize he is one of the most interesting, thoughtful, insightful, intelligent people in the NFL. If he is talking about this then it is important. Calling him a thug is totally inappropriate and ignorant.

  41. mr bluejeans
    6:36 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    BluKudzu; are you some kind of nut coming on here spewing your sanity and reason and common sense. there’s no place for your kind radicalism. these poor hungry, ink stained athletes should be paid on a par with head coach & academic department heads.

  42. Mike Veirs
    7:34 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Wait till Mark Emmert hears about those tacos! Even if he offered to pay for them later he should have been banned for life. The NCAA may be useless, and they are, but I wager they’ll investigate the taco caper.

  43. SevenT
    8:08 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Pay the Man, he played on a team that made over 3 MILLION DOLLARS for his school every Saturday he stepped on the field.

  44. BluKudzu
    8:53 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    31, 37 and 41….. For a philosophy major at a University, to do what he has done, I suppose he missed the semester when they gave instruction on either morality and/or ethics.

    This was never about the University or the NCAA this was about self absorbtion and unearned entitlement. His actions were selfish and without regard for those he played for and those he played with. To position this philosophy major as a hero proves you know less about him than you claim. I never called him a thug, I implied he was morally corrupt, and his actions and words, however you wish to rationalize ( I will guarantee he sat in the front row of his philosophy class the week rationalization versus reality was discussed) imply exactly what he is and that he was wrong for what he did.

    I am not a fan of the NCAA, but I am a fan of moral obligation. As I said before there is much both can do, and to make the rules up as you go, is neither sportsmanship, structured nor will it provide a chance for equality across the scope of college athletics.
    I am done.

  45. NashCat
    10:37 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    My child went to UT and had a class with Arian Foster. As I understand it, he is a great kid.

  46. Metaethic
    12:05 am September 21, 2013 Permalink

    Foster was not morally corrupt because he ignored rules put in place by the NCAA. The NCAA is not a moral authority, their authority is to keep the appearance of an even playing field between the haves and have nots. Cash or tacos it doesnt matter, you’re giving these institutions too much credit.

  47. TheDemarcusBus
    1:32 am September 21, 2013 Permalink

    #9 It’s always funny to hear somebody talking about their college education while bashing on someone, yet still can’t seem spell tattoos correctly.

  48. TheDemarcusBus
    1:33 am September 21, 2013 Permalink

    #9 It’s always funny to hear somebody talking about their college education while bashing on someone, yet still can’t seem to spell tattoos correctly.

  49. BluKudzu
    6:37 am September 21, 2013 Permalink

    46. Meta ethic, your scope is too simple. Spare me and others with that rationalization. Try this; Rationalize being called a cheater due to guilt by association because the team you played for has to forfeit wins and go on probation because someone on the team broke the rules for self gain with little regard on how it will effect his team mates, his school and their fans., Then tell me, with a straight face, the cheater is not morally corrupt.

  50. NCAA=Hitler
    8:18 am September 21, 2013 Permalink

    I’m honestly surprised by the number of you who are speaking negatively about Foster here. Is it because he is from Tennessee? Do you honestly think something like this hasn’t happened at Kentucky? I guarantee if this was Randall Cobb talking about tacos there would be far less people on this post throwing around words like weed, diamond earrings, etc.

    As college students who did not play sports, we were free to do as we wished (within state and national laws) to make money to do what we wanted with our free time and we made the University far less money than these kids do. Athletes have very little free time between school and athletic obligations (practice, weights, conditioning, games, media appearances…) and it should be more than ok for a Coach to bring food to his players if they have none.

    The focus here shouldn’t be on Foster or anyone else who has taken a few dollars on the side, but on the corrupt, greedy Universities, and the even more corrupt and greedy NCAA who are raking in the cash on the backs of 17-22 year old kids, while telling them they can’t take $5 for an autograph…shameful

  51. Megan
    11:59 am September 21, 2013 Permalink

    I thought players current get “walking around” money for pizzas and movies and such. Like anyone else, I suppose, you could blow that on other things and find yourself with an empty refrigerator. Let’s not use an individual’s irresponsibility as an argument for paying college players more than they are already paid.

  52. BluKudzu
    2:43 pm September 21, 2013 Permalink

    50 NCAA = Hitler

    Arian Foster = selfish, morally corrupt and ethically challenged.

    You = uneducated follower, with no concept of reality, commenting on a topic of which you are poorly informed.g

    There were many options available to Arian Foster that are within the guidelines. He chose to break the rules and blame the system for his personal shortcomings on being a responsible student athlete.

    I could care less who comitted the violation or for what team committed the violations, I do care that a selfish action by a person puts at risk so much for so many.

    NCAA = Hitler? Really? Take a history class. It will give you a better platform from which to deliver an opinion. It will help. Honest. While looking for a class also try ethics.

  53. Metaethic
    4:52 pm September 21, 2013 Permalink

    BLU you do realize it was his coach that fed him, I dont see you calling him out for putting his institution at risk and he is a grown man. Foster did nothing wrong and to call him eating tacos “cheating” well then you obviously have an agenda and are doing nothing but standing on a soapbox. You are not the judge and jury.

  54. BluKudzu
    6:55 pm September 21, 2013 Permalink

    Check all I wrote. I specifically called out the coach. But if you would take some time and read some of the comments in the Knoxville Sentinel, you would get a much more concise view of how their own fans feel about Arian. Perhaps their soapbox is more sturdy than mine.

    Here is the issue. He took money, and from what I read, there were options available that he could have chosen to stay within the rules and would have kept him in Tacos for several years.

    If it were anyone UK, UT, JC, I would still be furious. A person being irresponsible, knowingly breaking the rules, for personal gain with lack of regard for others is kind of hard for me to place as a hero.

    That is my point. With or without my soapbox, his actions will bring hardship for many that remained innocent. UT football pays a lot of bills for the UT sports program. His actions hurt more than the football program.

    So my agenda has been revealed. I also hold the coaches responsible.

  55. JoeJackCat
    9:56 pm September 21, 2013 Permalink

    Foster, and other teammates that took money were selfish. The players are paid, they receive an education, or are provided the opportunity in the classroom, which is a luxury that can last longer than dreams of playing in the NBA, NFL or MLB. Depending on the school the player attends, the value of their undergraduate education can be, as much as, $250,000 if they attend a school like Tulane or Vanderbilt (~$50,000/yr), and use the maximum five years to play four. Most new graduates do not see a salary that exceeds $50,000/yr, given a standard undergraduate degree.

    Finally, Foster like all students enrolled AT LEAST HALF-TIME (typically six to ten hours a semester) are eligible for student aid, by completing a FAFSA form. Being on scholarship, (Academic, Athletic, etc.), does not disqualify a student from receiving grant and aid packages. If by chance they exceed the monetary guidelines to obtain a Pell Grant other type of grant (ie. state, etc.) they are still eligible for a Stafford Loan like other students. So….

    1.) Scholarship pays for school/meal plan/etc.
    2.) Like other students if said athlete meets requirements, they receive need based aid (ie. Pell Grant) Year One Max 2250/semester 4500/year, Year Two-Four (2750/semester 5500/year)
    3.) All students are eligible for the Federal Student Loan Program. Year One (2750/semester 5500/year); Year Two (3250/semester 6500/year); Year Three and Beyond (3750/semester 7500/year)

    This is how I see the athletes “salaries” breaking down:

    After Tuition has been paid via the Athletic Scholarship; in year one, if they meet income requirements for Pell Grant, an athlete or other scholarship student can receive $4500, and are still eligible to receive a federal student loan for 5500/year = Freshman Athlete gets Cost of attendance + up to $10,000 Student Aid. (Tuition = $37,500/year + $10,000 Student Aid) = $47,500/year—-not a bad salary for an 18 year old.

    Year 2; Same ($37,500/year Tuition + 5500 Pell Grant + 6500 Stafford Loan) = $49,500

    Year 3-4; ($37,500/year tuition + $13,000 Student Aid) = $50,500

    Its up to the student to utilize the resources available to them….I know, because I recently finished my graduate degree, and while I attended UK I was fortunate to be on an academic scholarship. Being on scholarship, I still took advantage of the financial aid office, (I have the recurring payment each month to prove it.) And though I didn’t work full time, just a job now and then—because of the financial aid office I was able to afford a taco. If a kid from very rural Western Kentucky can do this, then someone with some street smarts should be able to figure out how to get the benjamins when they have their Shangri-La rite of passage into adulthood at the institution of their choosing.

    Thank you sir, may I have another?

  56. BluKudzu
    7:46 pm September 22, 2013 Permalink

    55 – EXACTLY!!!!!!!

    You would think people would do a little research prior to posting, instead the lemmings continue to take sides without understanding the position they take.