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Colorado Basketball coach Tad Boyle: “I was not a player worth paying”

Colorado’s longtime talks about California’s new law challenging the NCAA and more at media day

NCAA BASKETBALL: NOV 21 Legends Classic - Notre Dame v Colorado Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Colorado Buffaloes head coach Tad Boyle held his annual state of the program during basketball Media Day on Wednesday.

Among the topics discussed was California’s SB 206 that allows student-athletes the opportunity to receive endorsement deals, despite the NCAA’s move to call the law unconstitutional. When asked about player getting paid Boyle responded by saying, “I played so long ago that I can’t even remember what it’s like to be a player. I was not a player worth paying, I can tell you that.”

He went on to say, “My opinion is this, I think amateurism and the way the NCAA has defined amateurism has changed and is continually changing. There’s a working group that Rick George is on that is looking at this issue from every angle, so I’m going to defer to them. I think with everything that has gone on with fueling stations, food for our student athletes, and everything that has become available to them now that wasn’t available to them a few years ago. I’ll give you an example, when I got here, we could provide our players with bagels in the locker room before practice in the morning, but we could not provide them peanut butter or cream cheese for those bagels.

That was the NCAA rule, but now they have bacon, egg, and cheese omelets (at fueling stations). They can have whatever they want before or after practices now. From that standpoint, our athletes have it pretty good. Now, is it going to change with regards to what else amateurism defines, I think it’s going to happen. I don’t know what the result of that working group will be, I don’t have any insight information and I don’t know if they have any answer yet, but I know it’s being looked at. What do I think about it? I think we live in very interesting times.”

The hot-button topic was just one of many question directed at Boyle, who also serves as an assistant for USA Basketball and is celebrating his tenth year at CU. Here are some of the other topics discussed by Boyle.

On Pressure To Succeed in 2019-20

“I put pressure on myself every day. Every year we don’t go to the tournament I am disappointed. I wouldn’t say there is any more pressure. I don’t put any more pressure on myself this year than I have in years past. I always go into the season with an expectation level. This year I’d be lying if I said my expectation level wasn’t a little higher than maybe in years past.”

On CU’s Talent for this year

“We have had some pretty darn good players come through this program in the last 10 years since our staff has been here. We have some good players on this team. What will the players do from this team going forward in their careers, we don’t know that. We know what Spencer (Dinwiddie), Derrick (White), Andre (Roberson), and Alec (Burks) have done and what George King did when he was here. Sometimes you look at that in retrospect and see what they did here. What I like about this team is we have quality players. We have two first-team all-league guys in McKinley Wright and Tyler Bey coming back. Evan Battey is coming off a heck of a year. Lucas Siewert and Shane Gatling are seniors.

Daylen Kountz really played well down the stretch. We have a lot of good players on this team that are coming back. What excites me the most about this team is our depth and quality of depth. That is where we can hopefully differentiate ourselves as we move through the season. We know injuries are a part of college sports. We see that with football right now. That is part of the game. This team is built right now to sustain some of that. You can only take so much. We noticed with McKinley’s injury last year that we took maybe a step or two back after that but figured it out and he played through it. I like the depth on this team and the quality of depth. We will see as the season goes who kind of steps forward. D’Shawn Schwartz is someone who I look at as kind of an X-factor for this team. He has had a great offseason and is playing extremely well right now. Evan is playing really good right now. We have a really good core group of guys.”

On Going To China To Play Arizona State

“Number one I am looking forward to play Arizona State, a quality conference opponent (in a non-conference game). They are going to have some new faces and some good players returning as well. Guys like Remy Martin, Romello White, and Kimani Lawrence. The first thing I think about on that trip is who you are playing.

Secondly, it is a great opportunity for our university and certainly our basketball program to showcase what we are all about in a foreign country and to experience a city like Shanghai and a culture like China and have that opportunity for your student-athletes to experience. Nobody that is going on that trip has been to that country. It is going to be a great learning experience for our team both on the floor and off the floor. That to me is what excites me about the trip is learning and growing as a group as a basketball team and also as college students.”

On Evan Battey

“Evan’s a special player and his game evolved last year, I think people saw that and I think I mentioned midway through the Pac-12 season that that’s the guy we recruited, we finally saw it and it took it took a while based on what he had to overcome. But in terms of our offensive philosophy, whether we have Evan in a game or not, we want to always play inside out, we want to play through our bigs”

Colorado open the 2019-20 season on Saturday, Nov. 8 in Shanghai, China vs. Arizona State. An 8:30 p.m. MT tip-off with the international event being broadcast on ESPN2.