Tim Tebow really, really doesn’t want college athletes getting paid

Tim Tebow celebrates after leading Florida to a 24-14 win over Oklahoma for the BCS national championship on Jan. 8, 2009.
(James Lang / US Presswire)

Tim Tebow was a college football legend.

He won a lot of games and two national championships as a quarterback at Florida.

A lot of people made a lot of money off those accomplishments, while Tebow himself didn’t make a cent.

And he couldn’t be happier about that — which means he couldn’t be more unhappy about the prospect of college athletes possibly getting paid sometime in the near future.


Two days after a bill that would allow college athletes to earn money from the use of their names, images and likenesses passed the California Legislature and was sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom, Tebow appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” and pretty much lost his mind while discussing the topic.

Whew! You got all that?

After starting with a humble-brag about having one of the top-selling jerseys in the world during his days with the Gators, Tebow states: “I didn’t make a dollar from it. But nor did I want to because I knew going into college what it was all about.”

He then goes to tell us exactly what college is all about — “going to Florida, my dream school, where I wanted to go, the passion for it. And if I could support my team, support my college, support my university, that’s what it’s all about.” And also, “It’s about your team, it’s about your university, it’s about where my family wanted to go, it’s about where my grandfather had a dream of seeing Florida win an SEC championship.”

Some of that seems pretty specific, but whatever.

But now our “selfish culture” is “you’re taking that away so that young kids can earn a dollar.”

“And that’s just not where I feel like where college football needs to go. There’s an opportunity in the NFL, but not in college football.”

Tebow’s college experience was undeniably special and he’s completely justified in relishing everything about it. But very few student-athletes have experienced or will ever experience anything close to that. A couple of bucks here and there might actually enhance their experiences.

But Tebow doesn’t see it that way.

“Now we’re changing it from us, from we, from my university, from being an alumni where I care, which makes college football and college sports special, to then OK it’s not about us, it’s not about we, it’s just about me,” said Tebow, who played three years in the NFL, serves as an analyst for ESPN and plays minor league baseball in the New York Mets system.

“And, yes, I know we live in a selfish culture where it’s all about us, but we’re just adding and piling it on to that, where it changes what’s special about college football.”

Tebow was yelling and got pretty animated while discussing the topic, so clearly he’s pretty passionate about it — either that or he just wanted to make sure viewers were listening to him and not distracted by that hypnotic shirt he was wearing.