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Clowney: Pay college athletes

2/13/2014

Former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, expected to be a top-five pick in the NFL draft, said he might have stayed in school for another year if he were paid for being a college athlete.

"Yes. Having to take care of my family, it would have made a difference if I'd have gotten paid," Clowney said on "Jim Rome" on Showtime. "If I would have had the chance to take care of my family through college, I would have probably stayed in college."

Clowney, ranked as the No. 1 prospect by ESPN's Mel Kiper for May's draft despite being limited to three sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss in his junior season, believes that college athletes should be compensated financially.

"I think so," Clowney said. "They are selling our jerseys with our numbers and making money off of ticket sales, so I think college athletes should get paid."

The 6-foot-6, 274-pound Clowney was held to three-year lows in sacks and tackles for loss in 2013. But he overcame some early speed bumps to earn first-team All-SEC honors a year after being voted unanimously to the All-America team and finishing sixth in Heisman voting.

On Wednesday, attorneys for a group of Northwestern players and the college players' association testified in a preliminary hearing to determine whether the players should be considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act. Another hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.