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EXCLUSIVE: Ga. State hoops coach Ron Hunter advocates paying NCAA players

In a wide-ranging interview with 11Alive, Hunter sounds off on the Kylia Carter controversy, the value of college scholarships and the NCAA moving closer to paying active players.

On Monday, Kylia Carter, the mother of former Duke and Pace Academy basketball star Wendell Carter, had a few choice words about the NCAA's current setup, likening the process of 'purchasing' student-athletes to a form of 'slavery.'

In a wide-ranging interview with 11Alive Sports on Tuesday, Georgia State men's basketball coach Ron Hunter sounded off on the Carter controversy and interjected his own ideas into the following national debate:

Should big-time college athletes be paid for their respective sport?

Here are a few excerpts from the Coach Hunter interview:

**On Kylia Carter: "I work in (the) NCAA. The NCAA isn’t buildings. It's run by institutions. I think there's some valid points (Carter's) making—I wouldn't have used 'slavery' or 'prison reform,' but I think because she used those words, it's taking away from the point she was trying to make."

**On student-athletes getting paid for their collegiate careers: "I have always said, from when my son (R.J. Hunter) played (at Georgia State), when a university can sell a young man's jersey or likeness, I believe that young man should be paid. Maybe not at that time, but put it in a trust fund. If that money is going to the university, it should be paid in a sense—not a stipend. Special talent should be paid. I think the NCAA is moving towards that."

**On the future of college athletics: "Our kids are making money now—the value of a scholarship. ... Scholarships give us opportunity. There are 4,300 Division I basketball players. Less than 1 percent will go to the NBA. Wendell Carter (a likely first-round pick in next month's draft), going to make a lot of money. (The other 4,200 kids) can use the opportunity to go to school for free. Got my degree, head basketball coach. (Wendell Carter's) opportunity allowed him to go to the NBA. We can't use our kids. I make a nice living, universities do well; let's make sure the kids do well."

**On the rule that freshman-aged college basketball players cannot go directly from high school to the NBA: "I think this is going to change. Not a college issue. The baseball rule (of turning pro straight out of high school, or wait three years to get drafted) is better, if (you're) ready in high school. Or come to college for three years. Grow and get better."

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