Nate Robinson Was Offered a Ridiculous Amount of Money to Play College Football

A Washington booster really wanted Nate Robinson on the football field.

Nate Robinson playing football.
Image via Getty/Otto Greule Jr./Stringer
Nate Robinson playing football.

Nate Robinson and Carlos Boozer's new podcast, HOLDAT, released its second episode Tuesday, and in the episode, the former NBA players shared their perspectives on the current college basketball crisis. This past weekend, it was reported that Arizona men's basketball head coach Sean Miller allegedly offered top prospect DeAndre Ayton $100,000 to come to Arizona.

Robinson and Boozer were both star players in college, so they know all about the shady NCAA system. Boozer said he was offered money, but he turned it down because of the way he was raised. "I wasn't used to getting handouts," Boozer said.

Nate Rob, meanwhile, said he was offered a significant sum from a Washington booster—to play football. Robinson originally enrolled on a football scholarship, but after his freshman year, he committed to basketball.

"When they fired Rick Neuheisel my freshman year, that made it easy for me to make my decision to quit and go play basketball, which I wanted to do anyway," Robinson recalled. "For my three years at UW, I had a booster offer me $100,000 per year to come back and play football because they needed Nate Robinson back on the football field because we weren’t winning any games, it wasn't exciting."


The decision wasn't easy, but Robinson said he "wasn't a money guy," and after mulling it over, he refused to accept the offer.

"But a booster came to me, my mom sat down and my mom was like, 'That’s a lot of money,'" Robinson said. "And she was looking at me like, 'What you want to do?' And I was like, 'I want to hoop, I don't want to take money from a booster and not knowing if this handshake is for us to keep this money, because people don't do nothing for free.' And that’s what my mom taught me. What do I owe you after this? My mom was just like, 'What do you want to do? It’s up to you. This is your life, not mine.' I told my mom I was going to have to kindly say no thank you, but my dream is to play basketball and earn everything that I got."

The Suns picked Robinson No. 25 in the 2001 draft, while Boozer went No. 35 in the 2002 draft.

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