College athletics used to be dominated by white athletes as recently as 50 years ago, and there wasn't a word spoken about paying them. So that argument is totally bogus. Also, people who quote this idea that college athletics makes millions of dollars don't understand business at all. Those millions of dollars are REVENUE not PROFIT. Operating two or more stadiums; paying coaches, staff and facilities personnel; paying for tutors and academic support programs for athletes. Do everyone a favor and look up how many Division I athletics programs operate at a loss. You will be fuggin' stunned.
They want to get paid? Guess what, they get a FREE EDUCATION! You know how many regular, non-athlete student-students would love to graduate from college not $40,000-$200,000 in debt? And these athletes say that's not good enough? They want a free ride plus cash? GTFO!
The truth is as short time ago, they were student-athletes. Now they are athlete-students who use College as a gateway to professional sports. They don't take their education seriously. Classes and exams are their pain-in-the-ass chores that they need to do in order to keep playing in what is effectively the professional developmental leagues. So because they don't see the value in the free education, they think they should be getting paid. Excuse me for not balking at the idea of getting a college education at no cost.
Fact of the matter is, we just need to do away with this farcical idea of the student athlete. Create a Professional D-league attached to the schools. Pay young professional athlete hopefuls to play at Div. I schools for a couple years. Don't give them a scholarship and don't force those poor over-worked souls to educate themselves with meaningless degrees in criminology and physiology (that are being basically taken for them by tutors and the professors). And then let student-athletes play for free like they always used to at a sort of Junior Varsity level in the school. Problem solved.
The amount of greed and entitlement I hear coming from these players is sickening.
I had to laugh at the line FREE EDUCATION. A lot of them don't care at all about the education, so to them it's pretty much worthless. Just look at UNC, and the recently revealed A- paper that one of their students got. He obviously didn't care about learning.
I like your idea though.