The argument is ongoing on whether or not college athletes deserve to be paid. Those in favor of paying them claim that they work long hours only to have the NCAA and the college they attend reap the benefits. I disagree with this argument and believe that student-athletes do not deserve compensation.
The NCAA is the central governing body of college athletics. When a player agrees to play a sport in college, they are contractually obligated to the rules that NCAA has set in place. According to the NCAA, all those playing college athletics must qualify as amateurs. There is a list of qualities that the NCAA has determined to be descriptive of a professional, which is not allowed. Included in the list of things that are NOT allowed is "Use your athletics skill for pay in any form (for example, TV commercials, demonstrations);". This in and of itself is a major issue. Although those who play willingly agreed to this as part of their terms, it strips them of their ability to monetize their own talents, which they possess as an individual.
It is not right for the NCAA, a non-profit, to mandate what they can and can't do with their talents. Through not allowing these athletes to make money using their talents, it puts many athletes in a difficult situation.
To give an example, If an extremely talented college basketball player wanted to organize a paid summer camp to teach younger kids, they are not allowed. They are not allowed to monetize their own talents in any way, because according to the NCAA that would make them a professional. The fact is that fewer than 2 percent of college athletes go on to play professionally. That means the other 98% don't have major contracts coming their way. There is no doubt that over the years, those who fall in the 98% have made the NCAA and the institutions they played for millions and millions of dollars. It is backward for the NCAA to ban student-athletes from making money with their talents, all while they capitalize on every little thing that they can.
That being said, to actually pay student-athletes or give them a stipend would be a difficult task. Who gets how much? Where does the money come from, the NCAA or the college/university? Among many, many more.
The simpler way to go about things would be to open up on some of the current restrictions student-athletes face. They should be allowed to use their own talents to make money. They should be allowed to accept prize money (in excess of event costs). They should be allowed to appear in commercials, and advertisements and such. In a general sense, if they are able to make money using their athletic abilities, they should be allowed to do so.
It is worth mentioning that the NCAA makes plenty of money, even as a non-profit. Their CEO made $2.4 million in 2016 and In 2017 they posted revenues in excess of $1 Billion. Without the athletes, that figure would likely be $0.
In conclusion, through lifting these restrictions, it will allow players to make money for themselves without having to organize a formal way to actually pay them. If a student-athlete is ambitious, they can go out and make money and if not, it doesn't make a difference on the NCAA's books. A win-win.