Alright, time for a little thought exercise here: The College of Football
What if a university, likely private with a relatively well funded scholarship base, were to give the big middle finger to the NCAA and do the following:
Establish a College of Football as a degree granting program within the school.
Offer Academic Scholarships to the most gifted players, and allow those not granted scholarship to enter the program and pay their own way if they like.
The college of football would entail taking classes in various football areas, both in the classroom and on the practice field, and in games, with the objective of being a Pro Football/NFL Prepatory program.
The best players could be lured in with the promise of excellent NFL and CFL contacts, and the freedom to be directly in contact with pros and agents at all times.
The NCAA could simply completely bar them from competition in NCAA events, and it wouldn't matter. The school could play games as exhibitions against semi-pro teams and the like, even offering payment to those teams to do so, and fund its future by A: Selling Tickets to games in a Pro-Football fashion, and B: Donations and contributions from the vast number of players that would eventually be well paid in the pros, and C: Student athletes who pay their way into the program.
Student athletes wouldn't be discouraged from attending because it's still a college and they're still earning a degree in the event that a pro-career does not materialize.
Obviously, the NCAA schools would hate that, because it would hugely cramp their ability to recruit the best (and most paycheck oriented) players. But, how would they stop such a thing?