John Infante’s post about paying young basketball players is a useful exercise in trying to climb out of the box the NCAA’s amateurism standard has placed college athletics. Rather than putting the burden on the schools to change, he’s looked instead for a path to incentive the NBA to abandon the way it does business. The sooner the pros will pay a kid, the more pressure that takes off the colleges to do so.
Paying college basketball players without fixing the system immediately below it also threatens to simply shift problems downward. To fix basketball, everyone needs to get what they want. The best prospects need the shortest path to a pro career. The NBA needs a system to evaluate players before they are drafted or signed. And the NCAA wants a supply of talented players who are committed to college.
Read the whole thing. I’m not suggesting it’s a complete panacea. And I don’t know how much of what he proposes translates neatly to football. But it’s a good place to start a discussion about how to fix things.