Dr. Boyce Watkins: Texas Tech Paying College Players $25K Salary May Set Off Arms Race

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Texas Tech Paying College Players $25K Salary May Set Off Arms Race

Texas Tech

Texas players take the field before an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

A local non-profit announced it would pay Texas Tech football players an annual salary of $25,000 last week. Dr. Boyce Watkins hopes the move will make other schools follow suit and cause more competition in the market.

“Texas Tech is paying new players $25k to play football at their school. Hopefully this creates an arms race as schools compete to get the best players,” Watkins tweeted. “This will put billions of dollars into the black community instead of letting the Nick Sabans keep all the money.”

The Matador Club, a non-profit created by Texas Tech donors, told the Lubboch Avalanche-Journal it would sign up to 100 Red Raiders to the $25,000 contracts. 

In exchange, players would be asked to participate in charity work and community service in the local community and possibly other Texas cities.

Those who opt in would receive their pay monthly.

The deal was made possible in 2021 after the NCAA bowed to public pressure and suspended rules preventing college athletes from signing Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals.

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Cody Campbell is a founding member of the Matador Club’s board of directors. He said Texas Tech’s 85 scholarship players and top 15 walk-ons could benefit from the deal.

“The Matador Club has been funded by private donors,” Campbell said. “It’s an NIL collective. Donations have ranged from 10 dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but we’ve gotten to a point where we’ve done pretty well and so we’re ready to sign the contracts with the football team. We plan to move forward with (men’s) basketball and baseball in the next weeks, months to come.”

Sports publisher Tim Fitzgerald of GoPowercat echoed Watkins’ sentiment when he said the contracts were “pretty impressive” and would “probably set the standard for the rest of the conference.”

It’s something Watkins, Campbell and others hope for as they believe athletes should receive compensation for the hard work they put in to play at the collegiate level.

“Collectives have done things a number of different ways. You see some of them paying large amounts to individual players. You see others doing different things. But what we want to do, really, is support the entire program,” Campbell continued. “This is kind of a base salary for the guys. They’re not going to be restricted from doing any other NIL stuff with anybody else. In fact, we’re going to encourage and help them to do that.”

“But this is just something that’s going to make sure that guys feel supported by the Texas Tech community, that they are comfortable and in a position where they can stay in the program and develop themselves, because we really believe in what coach (Joey) McGuire and his staff are doing in terms of being focused on long-term player development,” Campbell added. “We think that’s the key to Texas Tech, in particular, having success.”

Some Twitter users said they hoped HBCUs would soon have enough support to follow suit.

“I hope the Hip Hop community about to do the same for Jackson State. Deion Sanders about to have it jumping!!!! A lot of shows popping up in the area. I think thats where we headed. Lets get it !!!!!” @A1Kredit wrote.

“This should have been in place since 1980. I love your term (arrns race)! The biggest problem for HBCU’s recruiting top HS athletes will be PWIs with inexhaustible war chests,” Twitter ser @Pharoah_Monk replied to Watkins’ tweet.


PHOTO: Texas players take the field before an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)