Wisconsin Badgers’ forward Nigel Hayes held up a sign saying “Broke College Athlete Anything Helps” during ESPN’s Saturday edition College Gameday:
The sign seems to be a play off the idea of a fan who recently asked for “beer money” with his Venmo account listed on a sign during GameDay in September. He reportedly made $24,000 from donations.
Hayes’ demonstration comes one day after he took to Twitter, making a series of points on the issue of student-athletes being paid. He linked to a USA Today article which stated that the Big Ten made about $450 million in 2015, a $110 million spike from the previous year.
His tweet said “The @bigten made nearly $450 million. My scholarship is about $160,00. If only there was enough money to pay us..”
The senior forward has tried to tackle this issue before as well. He joined two other athletes as part of a class action lawsuit against the NCAA in 2014, a case that is still going through the court process. Hayes is certainly not the first player to discuss the struggles faced by college athletes. Former NCAA standout Shabazz Napier famously said in 2014 that sometimes he goes to bed “starving” because he can’t afford food.
The Toledo native averaged 15.7 points on 36.8 percent shooting in his junior year. He earned the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year Award and All-Freshman honors in his first season, and was the third highest scorer on the 2014 team that was the runner-up for the National Championship.