1080 The Fan>Audio & Video on Demand>>Rigo Nunez, Former UMass guard

Rigo Nunez, Former UMass guard

Apr 1, 2011|

After his comments regarding pay for play as part of HBO's Real Sports expose on the NCAA and rampant violations, Rigo Nunez joins Isaac and Suke in studio to discuss his experience at Massachusetts and why athletes should get a bigger piece of the pie.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Okay it's 403 on 1080 the fan we have an in studio guest. He is originally from the Dominican Republic he played with Marcus Camby and UMass in the NCAA championship 1996. He and he was on the HBO real sports that the name of the show is pitcher a sports -- Expos day on that paid for playing the NCAA. Just a couple of nights ago his name is a rebuild Nunez RI GO Nunez -- being here. My -- going to be here I'm excited yep where in me cash -- -- -- let's let's start with what we were just cut him off the year I just if it's fascinating. And you said this on the HBO piece of the night. Talk about what you were planning to do what players in NCAA basketball were planning to do to protest the hypocrisy of the NCAA. Back in the mid. Ninety's low in the nineties who could had a huge impact because he's had great stars and basketball that stadium for multiple years. So the conversation with a Mora about what she read due to have an impact on. No way we are being used strike now in some ways in it's it's political because people living there. He's getting a scholarship and it's -- significant enough to. To them. To give to an athlete that is actually producing millions of dollars for I know not every school. The vast majority of the top schools and making things about of athletes. So we were thinking about where was. -- can -- here we impact. One NCAA's and have our voices are without incentive speaking men and 1995. NCA tournament was a target. Meaning that all the schools. Especially the schools have been means you know Wake Forest at that. Time it means you multiple schools. We're gonna. Joe walked to the middle course tip off collectible bounds at the NCAA tournament at the beginning of retirement and yes and that he had I was gonna impact of course institution and I love for UMass and I love my institution -- At that time. There was some disenchantment with. What we will getting food producing -- at that -- and today extent that now I know. It's even bigger than what we've. And fighting Knowles impact I mean you talk about -- making 27 million dollars a year. Just on basketball. Those things. -- amazing to meet you talk about all. -- column saying from UConn that he brings in 1516. Million dollars. Two of the university's -- Lemond. I was there and thinking them money ranking you know maybe million dollars or something like that -- is ridiculous among among among either. Goes into sports. So in in 1990 by the NC -- yes. Marcus Camby. And will bear Corliss Williams any media -- -- -- let's admit that and it's not because that's what you said Wake Forest at UCLA. So the stars of college basketball because the whole lot. Sat around in the circular students let's let's get to the incidentally to Robinson that when -- gonna play at all we're just gonna sit and not play in the term. Yes I've I'd say. I personally spoke with at least fifteen guys and a prominent players -- prominent players there and some of them it is an NBA. I would previous event because we were ranked number one we beat every number one team we played against. And you talk you meet with those guys you have conversations. And to me I I just wonder if you -- was going on right. You know I've had sat in the background just listening and observing everything that was going on. But also taken in in in no way that you know that makes sense. I think we should do this but then you have a lot of pressure. -- pressure from. You know. Am I not going to be complained MBA if I do this what's gonna happen in my going to be black apples and all those things duck cited daunting on people and -- very happy. Heavily on on eat each players didn't almost happen. Or did it just did you think it was -- I thought it was gonna happen I would say before. The 810 tournament. I was concerned or excited that it was gonna happen. Mean it would've been one of the more cultural. Significant things to happen in modern day sports I mean yeah. And I'm just I'm I'm trying to think in my head what would happen here and were a day away from the final four. If those four teams roll out into the ball and and you sit got a -- -- don't play and never played again what would have been the impact. You know I'm a mirror and thinking bigger and that. As the beginning of the NCAA tournament. Vegas would have a huge impact I mean think about how many people flight to Vegas to gamble and bet on the game dives over under is. Everything that goes on just with -- NCAA's huge. Never mind the media attention it's a four games and he used it probably super -- light went down when you talk about all of those games that are going on at the same time. And I lease you know semi 5% of those games now being played and and windy -- abreast of what happened in the pre and other games even if those other schools. Playing its it was gonna be huge it was is definitely we're gonna change. The way we operate from NCAA perspective -- and an institutional perspective the president's of these other institutions. That was definitely gonna change though. The whole scope of -- amateur sports whenever that. Means no -- he sees people could. We've had this conversation before and I -- I'm very outspoken and I think players should get a cut or at least should be better taking care I think it's ridiculous but. I mean I get people that are gets -- me about it and just say. You know these kids they're spoiled yet they. When I was twenty I didn't have any of this and make it 250000 dollars scholarship and had every opportunity in the world. And they should you shut up and be happy because they don't have to do this. What do you. Say to those people. Well I I persons who demands of opportunities but I'm -- -- me. I went to UMass because I wanna be premed wanted to be a medical doctor I wanna work harbor in my system works that. I wanted to be in Madison. However I don't have the opportunity to choose my majors. It's because it conflicts with but with mine athletic performance is conflicts in my practice. Some conferences have done while I mean the ivy leagues and even in in the pac ten is trying to have games only in certain days. But that is not true across the country. It doesn't give me an opportunity select and say I wanna be premed aren't going to be an engineered. It. It comes back to we student athletes alone two we happen to be athletes that happen to be in -- campus taking classes. Ing you anything at least dream and you are -- -- bigger area grit that comes over and you take -- you know the advantage of your education you -- want to a great career in the medical field and you're now you know director of admissions at all these big time schools you're what incidentally holds up. But are you a realistic look at the average NCAA basketball or football player. Definitely not in their graduation. I mean -- an attrition I mean. We've got graduated from UMass of course it's a terrorism that -- -- -- working -- -- -- -- -- -- -- how many years -- -- -- graduated -- -- -- as well we were lucky I mean we had yet about 80% -- -- graduate which is high it was probably top immensely at that time. How we have the right players we have the right opportunities in to do so. But they were. A significant amount of citizens in -- -- They also look at all the teams I'd look at now he's other institution my alma mater right now how many people graduating. And that is not true. I you know. How are you where to begin and and you know would have began to tell you how difficult it is to. -- -- an immigrant. Inner city kid who is being told all of their lives are the only way to you can make it. Institutionalize. This system tells you have only way you can make his way to reliable shooting hoops bar. Playing football. And that's the only way out and and is reinforced when you get to cosmic -- say you know what I'm gonna prove them wrong. I wanna be this type. Academic scholar. And and you cannot select those those programs and then let's put things in perspective my scouts it was worth about 36000 -- hi Dennis how's that for four years. You know we've brought in over fifteen to over twenty million dollars each year. If we had an equal trade compared today MBA a percentage of the players out of him making 600. YouTube a million dollars a year. So now most. Academic. Scholars. Do not bring in those resources Sudan institutions. So that is a lot different so. I made an analogy you know map at 22. Slavery obviously were not getting whipped and you know obviously -- and we were nets had a can change I was obviously we selective in his scissors and obviously we signed a contract that says that the on our likeness for. The rest of our lives. We did that we were young we were seventeen years old who were eighteen. The you know. So those things when I made -- comparison as this look at all of indices -- Country in the United States -- -- of people's back. That didn't benefit while messier still living this is 2000 and haven't this is the only industry right now that I can't think. That -- actual people that bat producing the resources for the institutions and not benefitting. I mean. -- That's what to me as I'm mostly it's it's. Crazy it is crazy and end up our guest here is he just inning in his rebuilding unions the played -- you masks on the national champs you team their 1995. Do you have a plan about how. We can get this done. And me because I there's a lot of discussion about it but at the same time you know nobody is. Nobody's really putting forth practical. Plans to make this happen to 22 to create the change. Well first of course but -- the complicated. Personal green he representational for the players and -- -- and -- of contracts. Dad they're giving up their whole lives they don't have to think about it some rain down by -- -- muscle for reasons is now. Look at how about somebody -- representing my interest that is never true when top athlete. It's signing that contract for us -- for an education even though. Damien Nash get that education deem the institution mean half the field that part of their agreement. Okay so that's one. Vanessa beginning -- which is know what they're signing and -- have a actual choice because educated about what they're signing. And we need to look at you know open the books like the NFL's needs to do right now and the open obviously we've asked players allies. -- Phillies happen to be on campus. Taking classes. We need to understand. What are we doing there we need to understand them -- producing -- the marketing tools of those institutions. We essentially yeah I producing millions of dollars. And we need to be educated about that the president's ovals as institutions need to be. Aware that need to be right open Wednesday you know then I don't want anybody mentioning sports that don't produce well let's make it on. Production basis if you selling Telecom. For a company and you don't produce you getting fired. Less make you realistically. Realistic right now. Let's first be educated about that. That's the first that I don't like to do for all of us to be educated on the same page in on the semblance of truth and when is. Think that's happened now though with with this HBO and PBS had a Frontline special on its starting to build momentum I think. A little bit. Bring the people -- -- table the rubble browsers that you know I Tennessee rebounding is as crazy. He's insane you know he got a free education is you know you know and her for things -- I -- I'm you know -- the house negro here you know I'm happy to be here. I'm happy to get those guys advised to get maximizing Jason yes. That is true and I'm happy where my experience. But was it fair based on the production that my. Teammates in other athletes in the NCAAs and bring into these institutions and to impart to NCA. My favorite part is that they brought it up but I can't America was on the PBS and the HBO's -- they were back to back. It was the old university president at Stanford. They brought the fact that Stanford's at a shoe contract. That pay their coach 400000 dollars a year now. How that can be up to a million dollars you know coach K -- gets a million dollars from ninety yet so Nike pays. You have athletes wear this whoosh and where their shoes and yet it's coach K state gets the money for making his kids. Where those shoes when you show up U mass you don't get a choice which use your gonna -- you get a choice whether or not you -- these -- you show -- and ECU put on the issues so that our coach can make a million dollars. That's the one that they just I laugh about or the fact that you Marcus Camby back in the day there you know. What are the best -- first of all time you can go to the bookstore have a UMass 21 Jersey -- for eighty bucks. And we all know it's a Marcus Camby Jersey union Marcus Camby will never -- -- died from that Jersey to this today you can still sell the Marcus Camby agers they'll never see -- I'm -- math and. You knowing that one of things that I talked to one of the players -- wasn't part of a 55. ESPN. Show and he sits in me the reason he last was because. One day he was in his. His dorm room pay nine week issues were not starving and you know we did you know meal money and we did things was every so often you find yourself when no money and you want -- -- hungry though. The cafeteria close so he started to walk to bookstores to get a candy -- he had probably 85 cents in his pocket. Aimed to it was raining and I Ann Arbor and he dropped his going to whenever he had and he's taken -- -- so as a vivid and as you know image that he was given me. And then he said so when I got to the bookstore. You know I barely had enough to get a candy -- maybe one of those 25 cents drinks you know back in the days I don't think exist anymore but I'm. He looked around and his Jersey was being so for a sixty books. How crazy was that to him and what an experience you know and all of a big time -- wasn't one of those guys. That was the best after the end that team with the best player contributed. But these that the Marcus Camby is there Chris Webber's. You are collars. -- Rose. Those guys are wearing 'cause their jerseys -- being souls and institutions were making money and they weren't prescient -- and their jerseys is still -- as a matter -- north artist sells. Jordan's Jersey still and he business yeah nine out of that. It seems to need that. The in Ed O'Bannon is suing about that very thing. It seems to me he has a really good case as you just laid out. What do you think's gonna happen. Well it wasn't thrown around in the first round. Vince is trying to throw right now I talked to a man and last night and from a long period of time. And you know. We have something going on I mean I'm not part of it right now -- yeah I have attorneys that are going to be calling. Me. I mean the first ever. Kos K was -- video game -- came me money and just ST not a players of course you know cover the pre game the first Sega Genesis. Coach KN CAA basketball March Madness game. I was and it they took my high school stats Mike -- is that's my height. My weak division it was me in my half for a lot of time I can't grow any Morey down balls that I am. But I'm it was me -- my number pages and I -- my last name. And -- is supposedly how they were protecting the players. So. What I mean by that is that. The players that you know what type of contract he signs. When they were giving their rights to. Yeah and saying and at colleges to username and fast this standing point there that they're gonna use via bad there agonies. There are other players that probably gonna sign a contract. I mean I was north of Syracuse I was in Florida. And you know my UMass and talk to banal -- say I was recruiting -- guy and -- from arm and oppressed -- New England. You can play here. We recruit that guy doctor brightest from 48 he came to UMass is -- and we need another guy. I showed up maybe -- senate contest. But -- my name is there I showed up as a walk on Dennis gossip ran away so we gotta look deeper. -- you said that you and Ed O'Bannon had a long conversation you're you're getting involved and in what he has nor. I'm into center listening. To a story on -- -- answers and supporting him has cost them what's going on with him. As his own things is an affair for it for our young adults to sign a contract weight is gonna impact them for the rest of your life. -- and I think it's an -- coming from you because a lot of people they're gonna say that this is sour grapes that people not suited taken advantage of you took advantage. -- everything that was -- QB you now live in the you know white collar world you make good money have a very nice job your high of being your industry. And yet you're still coming back insane it's not fair this is not sour grapes. Oh I'd love UMass with my UMass that would in -- international house -- natural -- and I would have the -- and I have. But Izturis the reality of things I mean young actors and actresses get paid even as -- teens on what they're producing movies. Even if I was. An accountant I was able to work you're doing way. Was studying to become downtown new York and make money active I can -- back to Dominican Republic and play and make money playing basketball. Active volunteer play for free. And it's funny -- is you know this a lot better than we do but I'm looking through some of our text message is coming in some people listening. End date you are so right about some of that just did this this. Vicious fervor that they come back at you with no sour -- so it's all the choice and I mean we're we're getting a little bit of that and it's it's amazing. Dick -- people can't. -- agree with what you said I Greece so much of what you're saying -- you get a free education should be happy when it's unbelievable where you think that comes around it you know arrived. I think is come -- this and -- and I mean believe you can look at our educational system in some cases is doesn't guarantee you he gonna get the job are you looking for. You're an educator united getting paid out well. You educating our community and you know our kids. And I'm not saying that teachers are the ones that are saying this but man it is people that'd have to pay -- to -- him back. You know that is hard you know I mean that I'm happy -- -- those gossip. But I know that when you compared. I had to work part time and sometimes -- little -- more. As a Napoli running lifting. I was able to choose my class they had choices you know I'm not upset at them I mean I think you known and they have there their opinion and entitled to a. But it kind of the day you guys produced millions of dollars in the normal does that does that and that's the difference that is a big difference and as the number it's everything that's everything. His name is that Rico Nunez RGO reunions he's he's here and in Portland. Obviously in studio now that lives here former UMass guard really instinct talking you thank you for coming in and we'll keep in touch at the UPS please do -- -- to keep your. Love to come back does this allow more there is a -- -- a lot -- things working now and then doesn't -- -- -- -- -- showing -- -- definitely center -- In let me ask you this to deny it might crazy I remember that Marcus Camby collapsed during years. Year 1990 like estrogen Missouri day in more yes yes he did it is actually act. I don't remember months during the NCAA and its members are wrong but I do and one of games he did he. Why can't remember some sticks out of your mind I just remember a story about Andy and if he should be listening right now I'm expecting some tickets civilians. I. And taking care you my friend and a yeah okay. I thought I I've read between the lines. So you don't remember much about the final four run. I do I mean I remember going through holes run he'd get -- it was and during the Cameron -- I was aren't in the 96 around he actually was healthy and without him we could probably move him around. Teams that -- Was awesome and -- he was not ethnic slot aren't worried thank you yeah very good unions in one you before we go to break a wanna. Get people's opinions you can weigh in a lot of people of uninsured that I heard that wanna talk about it you can call us at 503 to five -- in eighty. Or 86635. Eights and eighty with your opinions we'll get to those next.