Former NBA player Nate Robinson claims that a University of Washington booster offered to pay him $100,000 to play football for the school.
Robinson was a standout football player during his time in high school and college, but ultimately opted to play basketball. It was a smart decision because it led to a very successful NBA career. Clearly, however, some people were willing to pay big money to return to the gridiron while in college.
Robinson said the following on a Sports Illustrated podcast, according to SB Nation:
When they fired [football head coach] Rick Neuheisel my freshman year that made it easy for me to make my decision to quit and go play basketball, which I wanted to do anyway. For my three years at UW, I had a booster offer me $100,000 per year to come back and play football because they needed Nate Robinson back on the football field because we weren’t winning any games, it wasn’t exciting.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not exactly buying this on the surface. Here’s why I’m skeptical of Washington’s claim: There’s no question that there are players in the college game worth $100,000 a year in college football. They aren’t playing cornerback though. Guys worth that much money are playing running back or quarterback, which are the two most dominant positions in college football.
I find it extremely hard to believe that back in the day, Nate Washington was somehow worth $300,000 over three years to play in college football at a school that isn’t even a powerhouse. Call me crazy, but I think there’s a solid reason to have some doubts about this. I have never once heard of a defensive player getting six figures to play college football, and I’ve heard a lot of crazy stuff in my lifetime.