If so/not, why?
I understand that this topic has been briefly discussed in comments within certain threads, but I think it is worthy of its own thread.
As recently as yesterday morning, I assumed that just about everyone was in agreement that college athletes should not be paid. However, after an exchange with an intelligent MGoBlog user who advocated paying college athletes, and watching ESPN's "First Take" this morning, during which one commentator also advocated paying college athletes, I began to think that this was a more open issue than I realized.
My personal view is, rather emphatically, no. There are already outlets for watching paid athletes in the forms of NFL, NBA, etc. . . Additionally, there are administrative logistics that would be difficult to manage - for example, do we pay all student-athletes, or just the ones in revenue sports? If only the latter, why? How much should they be paid? A flat rate for all in revenue sports, or a graduated scale based on "productivity"? How would these determinations be made?
Moreover, while the "student-athlete" moniker is already arguably a sham, paying college athletes would ruin it altogether. And if it's possible that some things are too sacred to be used strictly for money (commodification) purposes, I think education in general, and higher education in particular, is one of them. The current system already commodifies higher education to an extent, but paying college athletes would completely bury any conception of higher education strictly qua education.
This is an intelligent forum - I'm interested in your views. Cheers.