ESPN’s Tom Farrey interviewed two of the new plaintiffs—Jake Fischer, a linebacker at the University of Arizona, and Jake Smith, a kicker for the Wildcats—who described their motives for joining the case.
Fischer, who led the Wildcats with 119 tackles last season, told “Outside the Lines” that he joined the lawsuit not because of money, but to give players a voice on issues of long-term health and access to a quality education. Like Smith, Fischer suffered an ACL injury playing college football that has healed enough to play again but likely will affect him after he leaves college, with no guarantee of medical care.
“Honestly, I stepped forward for the future well-being, safety and health of student-athletes,” Fischer told ESPN. “We have both met a ton of people since we’ve been here who have lingering effects from injuries, not getting a great education, not having all the capabilities or the opportunities that a regular student would have, and honestly, we would just like to try to fix that.”
“For me, it’s about the money and the fact that the revenue that’s generated is so vast, and the players are essentially the people that drive the engine that is the NCAA,” Smith said. “If we didn’t exist, there would be no University of Arizona football team. There would be no Alabama Crimson Tide football team. There would be no Florida Gator football team. There would be no Texas A&M football team. Yes, we are a part of the program. I love Arizona and I love my coach, our athletic directors, everybody that’s a part of this program are great.
“However, without us, there is no they, if that makes sense.”