Knicks’ Michael Beasley says college players should be paid
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Knicks forward Michael Beasley said he’s been paying close attention to the FBI investigation of bribery and fraud in college basketball recruiting, and he didn’t pass when asked about the process being corrupt.
“Man, you guys are just catching on,” Beasley said Wednesday.
A Maryland judge sided with the former star forward at Kansas State in a civil suit against his former agent alleging that his AAU coach funneled money and gifts to him and his family in return for signing with the agent.
Beasley, who is from Maryland, said there would be no scandals like the one rocking college basketball and put Rick Pitino on unpaid administrative leave at Louisville if college athletes were paid.
“I went to a small school in Manhattan, Kansas, nobody heard of in 25 years,” Beasley said. “The city of Manhattan has now multiplied by five, six — should I be compensated?”
Beasley, who played only one college season, said he helped Kansas State’s growth.
“My jerseys, they sold my jerseys,” he said. “Not just me, what about Kentucky and Anthony Davis? What about USC and O.J. Mayo? What about Western Kentucky and Courtney Lee? We bring a lot to these schools and we can’t even park in front of the arenas in games. They still make us, as freshmen, park two parking lots away from the dorm rooms in the freezing cold.
“So do I think most of the players should be compensated for their work? Yes. Because most of us don’t make it to this level. A lot of us don’t make it to the professional level, let alone the NBA. So I do think guys should be getting paid. The NCAA is making billions. Not just off basketball, but off football and soccer.”
Beasley, the No. 2 overall pick in 2008, added that amateur golfers and tennis players get paid.
“There are athletes getting paid at the collegiate level,” he said. “We’re just not one of them. I didn’t get paid to go to Kansas State. We did it the right way.”
Speaking of Frank Martin, who was his coach there, Beasley said: “Frank is a morally humble guy, confident in his ways of basketball and recruiting. And him throwing a dollar out, listen, he’s cheap.”