I've generally been staunchly against paying players on the reasoning that a college education is payment. Lately I've been coming around, but still don't like the idea of professional-izing college athletes.
I haven't seen a proposal like this, so I'm not sure if it's been discussed before, but: why not put money in a trust fund for every year a player actively participates in a sport which can only be claimed with a college degree? The players still wouldn't be paid in college, but would have the ability to get some starting-out money once they've graduated.
Granted, schools would be encouraged more so than now to shuffle players through a 4 year degree, but there's worse things in life.