Should College Athletes Receive Formal Compensation?

Thought I would poll the faithful Terp Nation and ask about their opinions on formal college athlete compensation.

For the comments in this post, I'd like to suggest a bit of a framework:

a) you offer up some pro's or con's not already listed if you have them.

b) then offer up your opinion.

This way we can tally a nice set of arguments for the proper debate of the issue.

Some considerations I'd throw out just to get the conversation rolling:

1)Tuition has been rising at a rate that is much faster than standard cost of living or inflationary adjustments. Furthermore, student debt can cripple the financial freedom of many graduates for decades post-graduation. Obama has made the ability to finance a college education a small component of his campaign in recent months. All this is to say that the importance of a college education for the majority of student-athlete's futures is immensely important for their future earnings potential and general quality of life. Paying for that via a scholarship is quite valuable.

2) If a payment model were to be approved, should it be a one-size-fits-all payment model, or allow market economics to ensue? Further considerations, if a full variable model were allowed, guys like paypal Cal would surely float the market rate up sky high and it'd be quite difficult for budget constrained schools to place those same bets or match those market rates. However, if it were one-size-fits-all, for example, $5k per season, or even an alotment similar to scholly's where you are allowed tiers for something like $5k per season for 25% of your players, $3k for 50%, and $1k for 25%, would that be appropriate?

3) With the NCAA's titles 9 and 14 aiming to ensure gender equality, would payment models also have to be offered to women's sports? More broadly than gender, the simple revenue sports (football/Basketball) vs. non-revenue, would the requirement to extend the same compensation to all sports impose heavier economics on athletic departments, and don't make it feasible in the first place? Would this accelerate the trend to drop more non-revenue sports and push all-in on the revenue sports? Does this create bigger gaps between the haves (Ohio States, etc.) and the have-nots (smaller schools) in college sports (where does UMD line up on this spectrum?)?

My opinion is that they should be allowed a 10% royalty on jersey sales. That's it. No other formal compensation. It should also be universal (spirit of title 9 and 14 compliant (not the letter, the spirit)). This way it is variable to the demand of the sport/athlete (women and non-revenue sports entitled to the same deal... if people want to wear their jerseys). Athletic Depts won't have increased financial burdens and this will be economically feasible from a budgetary standpoint. This shouldn't accelerate the abandonment of non-revenue sports, but it will push further distance between the haves and have-nots. I feel as though UMD is a tier 2 have, but definitely not in the have-nots. UMD sits in a major media market, and the media markets will be a significant factor in the decision of the athlete. UMD could use this as a marketing tool to bring 5-star athletes in, but they'll certainly have to compete with the incumbent blue-chippers.

What are your pro/con arguments and opinions?

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