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Ohio State Athletic Director Responds To C.J. Stroud's Idea

Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud practicing at the spring game.

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 17: Quarterback C.J. Stroud #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in action during the Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 17, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

During a post-practice interview on Thursday, Ohio State QB star C.J. Stroud said he believes player and coaches should be let on on the massive TV revenue brought in by the Big Ten on a yearly basis.

“Just off rip if I would say yes,” Stroud said. “I think coaches as well, like we're not – I feel like this game is definitely amazing, especially in the college atmosphere, because it still does have amateurism to it. I mean they're paying for our school, so I mean, that's definitely a plus. But at the same time, I'm not 100% sure what our tuition is, but I'm sure it's not the worth of how much we're actually worth. So me personally, my mom has always taught me to know my worth.”

“It would definitely mean a lot not only to the players, but to the coaches and the whole – even the school would appreciate just giving us maybe a little something, you know what I mean? Just because, I mean we put in so much work,” he added. “Like we're in here when nobody's looking. All the time that goes into it, it’s definitely tough. Then you take time away from your family, like, I'm 2,000 miles away from home.

“I don't want anybody to feel bad for me, but at the same time it does take a lot of courage and it does take a lot of heart to be here day in and day out, year in and year out. So I definitely think it should be shared, but if not, at the end of the day we have the NIL space and we can do it that way. So the new college world has definitely turned around and I'm here for it.”

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith holds a diametrically opposed view on the subject.

He believes student athletes already benefit from the TV money raked in by the conference.

“Frankly, they're already getting a piece of the television revenue,” Smith said. “You know, when you aggregate in – you're all familiar with our circle of care and all the people that we put around our student-athletes – and trainers, strength coaches, sports psychologists, nutritionists, academic counselors, just keep going around the list. And that's how we fund those positions. That's how we fund this building. That's how we fund this new field. That's how we fund a new field in the stadium. That's how we fund security that we'll need for 103,000 people in our stadium and maybe 30,000 outside for the tailgating.

“So they actually already get a piece. It might not be directly in their pocket, but it's an investment in them.”

The Big Ten's new seven-year TV deal with Fox, CBS and NBC is reportedly worth more than $8 billion.