Mike Wilbon of ESPN.com on paying college athletes:
The question from the opponents of paying college athletes inevitably comes back, “What would stop a star player from agreeing to shake hands at a local car dealership for $50,000?” The answer is, nothing. If a car dealer wants to strike that deal then good for the player in question. If a music student goes out in the summer and earns 50 grand, who objects? Who even knows? The student-musician is no less a college student because he struck a lucrative deal.
The problem with this argument is that the music program at most schools isn’t bringing in millions of dollars in profits which are heavily dependent on it’s success. The problem with this concept, is that if it’s not controlled the deepest pockets win. People like T. Boone Pickens and Phil Knight can offer insane amounts of cash that alums at schools like UTEP never could.
Knight could offer someone a deal with Nike and pay them a $100,000 without blinking an eye, does Minnesota have boosters with deep pockets like those? Once you go down this road, what separates college sports from the pros?