Interesting tidbit from my interview Saturday with Terrell Thomas, the New York Giants cornerback who is an alum of Rancho Cucamonga High School and USC. Not sure if it will make the print story, but felt it was interesting enough to put on here.
Another thing that Thomas had to deal with in the offseason was the punishment given to his alma mater by the BCS. USC was stripped of its 2004 national championship by the BCS due to its use of Reggie Bush, the focal point of USC’s current probation.
Thomas was a sophomore on that team and considers that team to be championship regardless of what the BCS says.
“They can take away the trophy, erase our name from the record books, but people know who the champion was that year,” Thomas said. “We earned it on the field and I really don’t care what anyone has to say about it.”
Thomas also gave his opinion on the recent controversies surrounding college football, focusing on the Trojans and Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
“Everyone gets caught for it and it’s Ohio State’s time, just like it was our time before that and Alabama’s time before us,” Thomas said. “With the way the NCAA operates, I can see why guys can be tempted to sell their stuff, or take a handout.
“When I was at USC, we got a $1000 stipend per month. $725 of that goes to rent, which leaves you $275 for internet — you have to have internet to do homework and study — food, clothing, going out on a date, stuff like that. It’s very hard to live off $275 in a month, especially when the NCAA is making millions of dollars off you.”
Thomas feels scholarship athletes should be paid, but isn’t sure how to exactly go about it, though he has some ideas.
“It’s hard because how do you decide what to pay the football team compared to the soccer team?” Thomas said. “How can the smaller schools afford to pay their players as well as the bigger schools can?
“Maybe you could have something where a player gets a percentage of every jersey of theirs that is sold. A guy like Reggie Bush can get a percent of all of his jersey sales given to him with a check. Maybe wait until he leaves school to give him that check, but I think it’s a problem when guys make a school millions of dollars and don’t get a cent of that. That’s why these players go out and do stuff like Terrelle Pryor did.”