After thinking about my white paper topic more deeply, and after some feedback from Jordi, I realized that the possibility of paying college athletes is not the issue in question but rather a possible solution to the existing issue. I realized that the real problem is the deteriorating structure of, and as this Sports Illustrated article posits, the failing business model of the NCAA.I remember reading the above article a few years ago and finding it fascinating. The Sports Illustrated writer — along with a team of others, including an antitrust lawyer and Title IX experts — used financial information from four DI athletic departments (Louisiville, Mississippi, Oregon, and San Diego State) to construct the model. The magazine makes sure to indicate that the model is not SI‘s way of supporting a pay-for-play solution; on the other hand, the SI team simply sought to show that a pay-for-play model is possible and could be implemented. In fact, the author does not support additional compensation for athletes and believes that a free education is compensation enough. He claimed that he understood the necessity of examining both sides of the argument, though, hence his decision to write the article.
I won’t bore everyone with all of the technicalities of the argument, but there are a few larger points that should be shared. First of all, most DI athletic programs don’t make enough money to even think about paying their athletes. To that end, most athletic departments would have to dramatically cut expenses in order to pay athletes even a small amount of money. Second of all, there are other options other than flat-out paying athletes. That is actually what I loved about the SI article. They considered some of these other options (which I will look into even more for the sake of my paper): the Olympic model, which would allow college athletes to sign endorsement deals; a commonly-voiced option in which college athletes would be able to take money from agents; even a model in which football players are the only ones paid. All in all, the article presents the problem from the business side of sports and proposes multiple amendments to the current system. I will likely use this article as a guide going forward.