Kyle Israel, former quarterback of the University of Central Florida, helped us break down the Cam Newton story and the issues associated with paying college athletes. Catch the entire interview below:
Ryan started by asking Kyle Israel what percentage of NCAA college football players are breaking NCAA eligibility rules by accepting gifts or cash. “It’s hard to put a number on it, it’s hard to put a percentage (on it)…I don’t know if you can do that. We’d be ignorant if we said that there weren’t gifts or there wasn’t money going under the table for some of these college football players across the country,” said Israel. “I definitely think it’s going on. I definitely think it’s an issue that (the NCAA) has tried to address for years but at the end of the day, it’s very difficult to regulate it. I think the NCAA has done a pretty good job of doing what they can to make sure it’s regulated but it comes back to the coaches who see these players day in and day out.”
Ryan said that when many of these stories of NCAA infractions and violations are exposed by the media, the sports agents and their runners are often portrayed as being despicable people. Ryan asked what share of the blame the athletes deserve. “Well, you certainly don’t see athletes coming out and accusing agents of things,” said Israel. “At the end of the day, the athlete is the one making the decision whether to talk to these agents, to accept money from these agents, and to accept the gifts that are on the table.” “It would be ignorant to say that the athlete can’t be blamed a little bit and they should be. But at the same time, you’re talking about 18-22 year olds, college students…and some of these athletes that come out of high school don’t come from the best situations, from the best households, and sometimes (they live) below the poverty line.”
Ryan asked how Kyle Israel would regulate the agents from and players from entering into agreements that violate NCAA rules. “The NCAA (could) potentially compensate the players, in some manner, for letting the NCAA know who’s coming and approaching them and soliciting these gifts and this money,” said Israel. “I don’t know if that would work, it’s an off-the-wall type of thought but I think you’re going to have to have an off-the-wall type of thought to stop these things from happening,”
Ryan then asked how believable the allegations of Cam Newton soliciting financial compensation from schools during recruiting actually are. “I’m not going throw anybody in front of the bus but I will say this: usually where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire,” said Israel. “Do we know all of the details? No. Am I going to blame or persecute Cam Newton and say that he doesn’t deserve the accolades that he’s been receiving this year? No.”
Israel is not just a former NCAA quarterback with the University of Central Florida, he is also heavily involved sports media. His current positions include college football analyst with Bright House Sports Network, and he co-hostsAlumKnightLive, a UCF alumni show on The Game 740 in Orlando, and he recently joined the radio broadcast team of the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League (AFL). Check out some of the links below.