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Peterson: 'Johnny Manziel made Texas A&M so much money'

David Stluka / Associated Press
Vikings star Adrian Peterson spoke out in favor of college athletes receiving compensation.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on Wednesday lent a strong voice to the heated argument about the compensation of college athletes.

Peterson illustrated the degree to which star athletes can be more valuable to colleges than the price of their scholarships by invoking Texas A&M star quarterback Johnny Manziel as an example.

"Johnny Manziel made Texas A&M so much money," Peterson said on a conference call Wednesday. "When I was at Oklahoma, they made so much money."

Along with Manziel and himself, Peterson wondered aloud what could have been with high-school-to-NBA star LeBron James.

"They're trying to make basketball players go two years in college. Wow, I wonder why?" Peterson said. "Think about it -- just imagine if LeBron James had been in college for two years. How much money would that college have made off LeBron James? They would have made so much money off LeBron James."

Peterson's remarks come relatively soon after Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter helped lead a movement for the unionization of college athletes. The College Athletes Players Association just scored a legal win when the National Labor Relations Board ruled athletes at Northwestern, where Colter played quarterback, are techinally employees with unionization rights. Appeals are in the works. But while Peterson's remarks ventured into the same subject matter as the unionization movement, they didn't specifically address unionization.

Peterson is certainly consistent. He had very similar remarks in regard to Manziel last summer.

"The universities make a lot of money off student-athletes in general," Peterson said then. "He (Manziel) should be able to make money. I think so. They make zillions off these college athletes. They made zillions off the guys I played with and myself, as well. Yeah, he should be getting paid."

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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