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Osborne Agrees Players Need Financial Help

June 22, 1989|From Associated Press

SCOTTS BLUFF, Neb. — Nebraska football Coach Tom Osborne said he agrees with former Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer that the NCAA does not "recognize the financial needs of young athletes."

"About a third of your players are living at or below the poverty level," said Osborne, who has the highest winning percentage among active collegiate football coaches following Switzer's resignation under fire Monday. "It's a tough deal."

Osborne was in Scotts Bluff Wednesday to address a booster organization.

Liberalized Rules Favored

"I'd like to see (the NCAA rules) liberalized," Osborne said. "I think we need to do some things to enable the players to have a little bit of spending money.

"I'd like to see a little bit more done for the players because . . . we're asking more and more of them. And, in return, we're giving them less."

Osborne hinted he would not mind seeing things return to the way they were in the 1960s when players received a $15 per month stipend and could sell their complimentary game tickets.

Plus, he said, academic requirements are more strict today. That forces many athletes to attend summer school, prohibiting them from full-time work.

Osborne prides himself on running a disciplined program. But he said even discipline has its limitations.

"Every morning when you wake up as a football coach, you realize you've got 150 players running around out there--and you don't know what they did the night before," said Osborne, who has a 158-36-2 record in his 16 years as Nebraska's head coach.

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