Ward: Players deserve stipends

December 29, 1993|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

MIAMI -- Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward yesterday reiterated some comments he made before winning the Heisman Trophy earlier this month about college football and basketball players receiving a monthly stipend.

In fact, the normally closed-mouthed Ward was pretty strong in coming out in support of athletes' getting paid. "A lot of people have made a lot of money off me," Ward said at a news conference for Saturday's Orange Bowl game against top-ranked Nebraska.

Ward suggested that a trust fund be set up for the "so-called star players," similar to what is done in track and field. The money would help athletes who don't wind up playing football in the NFL, or basketball in the NBA or in Europe.

"Somebody needs to stand up for the players, somebody in a higher authority," said Ward, a finance major who recently received his undergraduate degree. "I'm not saying they should get an NFL contract or anything. Maybe something like $150 a month."

'Dumb jock' makes mark

Nebraska defensive tackle Kevin Ramaekers has quietly become one of college football's biggest success stories -- on and off the field. It all started when the 6-foot-4, 290-pound senior was a Prop 48 casualty coming out of high school.

"I was the stereotype of the dumb jock," Ramaekers said. "But it was my fault. It wasn't my teachers' fault. It wasn't my parents' fault. I was the one who brought it all upon myself. If I had worked as hard in the classroom as I did in the weight room, I would have had a 4.0."

Ramaekers' image has changed dramatically in what he jokingly called "my 10 years" in Lincoln. Actually, it's been a little less than five,and Ramaekers is an honor roll student with a 3.2 GPA. He will graduate in August.

But his comeback story has not been limited to just academics. After suffering a torn ligament during winter workouts in January Ramaekers underwent total reconstructive knee surgery and wound up playing as a backup last season. He was a full-time starter this year and was named first-team all-Big Eight.

Intense turnaround

Cornhuskers All-America linebacker and Butkus Award winner Trev Alberts continues to make remarkable progress from the dislocated elbow injury suffered in the team's regular-season finale against Oklahoma.

Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said Monday that a good sign came when Alberts ran over fullback Cory Schlesinger during practice. "That was the best hit Trev has made since he's come back," said Osborne.

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