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Romney backs college athlete compensation, warns about some students driving 'Ferraris'

Romney backs college athlete compensation, warns about some students driving 'Ferraris'
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyRomney: Capitol riot was 'an insurrection against the Constitution' Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart Top border officials defend Biden policies MORE (R-Utah) on Wednesday backed allowing college athlete compensation, but also warned that certain aspects of a decision from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) could result in student inequality, including some students "driving around in Ferraris."

"I was pleased that the board of governors recognizes that we've got a lot of athletes that come from very poor families that need some additional remuneration, in some cases to take care of their families, but to provide for themselves as well," Romney said in an ESPN interview.

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"It's just not fair to have these athletes giving the kind of time they give to their sport and not receiving any kind of compensation," he added. 

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee warned, however, that some students and schools may not benefit as much as others under the new rules. 

"What you can't have is a couple athletes on campus driving around in Ferraris while everybody else is basically having a hard time making ends meet," Romney said, adding, "You can't have a setting where some schools...are like the honey pot and everybody, all the great athletes, all want to go to those handful of schools. Then you kill collegiate sports."

On Tuesday, the NCAA's top governing body voted to start a process allowing student-athletes to "benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model."

Michael Drake, chairman of the NCAA Board of Governors and president of Ohio State University, said that each NCAA athletic division should "immediately" think about updates to their policies. 

The move came as states including California and Florida have considered or passed legislation allowing for student athletes to be compensated.