Let's Remove the Pretense
So let's do something novel. let's remove the fawning to the NCAA and let's see if the colleges can get together and form their own semi-pro league. The funding is easy. The same college boosters paying for the NCAA sanctioned version will definitely "kick-in" for this one. Also since the "bloom is off the rose" companies will contribute for their piece of the media recognition. On the back of the uniform you have the school and the player's name and on the front any company with the dollars to make it happen. That takes care of funding.
First, these athletes are not sanctioned under that "800 pound gorilla" the NCAA. All interested colleges make up the rules and the auspices under which these athletes play. They can play no more games than a regular college season which hearkens back to the "under the same rules as the student athletes" line. They will get paid a set amount. No matter how special an athlete is, that amount will not waiver. Yes, yes I am aware schools will find a way to pay these athletes "under the table". Not the concern of this proposal, but most likely a reality.
Second, they do not have to take classes. They can take classes but there is no need. They are athletes not students. Their room and board is covered throughout the entire school year. They are paid for games. They have a four year eligibility. Should they take an agent or go pro in a sport they are now ineligible for the College SEMI-Pro League in that sport and we wish you well.
This leaves the actual Student-Athletes a chance to go to school and work towards their degrees while playing for their schools. They unfortunately will be sanctioned under that inordinately obsessive NCAA but hey "them's the breaks". After all, free room, board, and a college education "ain't bad". Also although not in the College Semi-PRO League pro scouts will still take a look, I'm more than sure.
Yes many questions but let's stay on message. We can get our rabid thirst for the up and coming out in the open. We can allow student-athletes to be just that. What do you think?