Texans' Foster says he took money in college

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Updated: 9/20/2013 7:35 pm

(Sports Network) - Houston Texans running back Arian Foster says in a new documentary he accepted money while playing college football at the University of Tennessee.

"Honestly, I don't know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation but my senior year, I was getting money on the side," Foster says in a clip from the EPIX documentary "Schooled: The Price of College Sports."

The clip was posted online Friday by Sports Illustrated. The magazine says Foster was approached by producers in February and sat for a four-hour interview.

Foster didn't back away from the comments Friday, calling the NCAA a "bully" and saying he feels "very strong about the injustice the NCAA has been doing for years."

"That's why I said what I said. I'm not trying to throw anyone under the bus or anything like that," Foster said, according to the Houston Chronicle. "I feel like I shouldn't have to run from the NCAA anymore. They're like these big bullies and I'm not scared of them."

In the documentary clip, Foster says there were "plenty of times" he didn't have enough money for food.

"I didn't have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food," Foster says. "But I remember the feeling of like, 'Man, be careful.' But there's nothing wrong with it (taking money) and you're not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it."

Says Foster: "There was a point when we had no food, no money and so I called my coach and I said, 'Coach, we don't have no food and we don't have no money and I'm hungry. Either you give us some food or I'm going to go do something stupid.' And he came down and he brought like 50 tacos for like four or five of us, which is an NCAA violation."

Foster played at Tennessee from 2005-08. Despite going undrafted, he has made three straight Pro Bowls for the Texans and led the NFL in rushing in 2010.

His coach all four seasons at Tennessee was Phillip Fulmer.

Foster said Friday he never received money from a coach but, "Side people always offer you money all the time, just random people usually. 'Can I take care of you?' It happens all the time."

"When you're at college and your family doesn't make a lot of money, it's hard to make ends meet," Foster said, according to the Chronicle. "Towards the end of the month, you run out every month. It's a problem all across America. It's just when you play top-tier Division I football, there's people that are willing to help you out. I got helped out."

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said in a statement the school "can't speak to something that allegedly happened a long time ago." He said "the values and priorities of our athletics department and football program are aligned, and the constant education of our student-athletes regarding the rules and consequences of their choices is of the highest priority."

Foster says in the documentary there were times he remembers signing autographs for "hundreds of kids" and taking pictures with fans before walking back to his dorm room and realizing there was no food in the fridge.

"Hold up, man. What just happened?" Foster says. "I don't have anything to show for what I just did. But then the next day I walk up to the facility and I see my coach pull up in a brand-new Lexus -- beautiful."

Says Foster: "There was a lot of guys on my team that sold drugs. Some of the guys sold drugs. That's why you hear a lot of the guys selling their rings. They're just trying to eat, man."

"It was total bull----," Foster says, "but you don't say anything because if you say anything you're stepping out of line and that will hurt your chances of getting to the next level. It's a brilliantly devised, devious scheme to keep kids quiet."

Foster's comments came to light a little over a week after Yahoo Sports reported five SEC football players received improper benefits from multiple NFL agents and financial advisers before the end of their collegiate careers, including Tennessee players Tyler Bray and Maurice Couch.

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