"First, you need to look at what we owe students. Obviously the model says you get an education in exchange for contributing this way, plus the sport is supposed to be its own reward, but I don’t think that that’s really fair anymore. ... It's problematic and I don't have a solution," the South Bend, Indiana mayor said, according to Jewish Insider.
Buttigieg went on to note the massive popularity of the sport in his hometown, which is home to the campus of Notre Dame.
“I think about it from a perspective of a city that relies on college football in the same way that Bahrain relies on fossil fuel.”
Buttigieg also said that he has “qualms” about letting a child play football and favors soccer.
His comments came after the California State Assembly voted 72-0 to pass a bill allowing college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness. The bill is championed by many athletes in the collegiate and professional ranks, such as Lebron James. The state Senate passed the measure 39-0.
Following Buttigieg's comments, Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren said the debate about paying college athletes is a valid topic, but it seems like Democrats have an ever-growing list of things that are "problematic" in American society.
“Is it just me or do liberals just want to take the fun out of everything? They want to take away your straws, your cheeseburgers and now your college football because now that's morally problematic as well. It seems like everything and every American tradition, for the Democrats, is problematic in some way,” Lahren said on "Fox & Friends First."
Lahren also said that Buttigieg's lack of solution on the matter is typical of Democrats and his message does not resonate with average Americans, especially those in Iowa.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano and Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.