The NCAA released a video over the weekend stating the case for why Student Athletes cannot be paid salaries for their athletic services. The main argument is that if basketball and football players were paid, other sports would be eliminated by universities.

The idea is that schools would focus only on those sports that were bringing money in. For the less popular sports, they would likely fall victim to budget cuts since more money would be needed to pay the basketball and football athletes.

The Title IX issue

Emmert did make one very valid point in determining a pay structure for student athletes. His concern over Title IX violations is very problematic. Per Federal law, any benefits afforded to male student athletes must also be afforded to female athletes as well. We've seen this issue play out countless times at the high school level. Usually the school is in violation because they give too much to the football or basketball team, while not providing the same level of support for the softball team or track and field. If student athletes did start receiving paid salaries, no one truly knows where it ends. The common argument is for paying basketball and football players, since they bring in the vast majority of the money.

But what about other sports? Could schools justify having to also pay the entire softball team a salary, especially when it comes at a certain loss compared to the money the program generates? That is where Emmert may be right in saying that schools would simply abandon other sports. It would be less about the money and more about being in line with Title IX regulations.

Common ground

While the NCAA does have a point that certain schools would abandon sports that were not making any money and put all of their eggs in one basket, the idea seems a bit stretched.

One idea floated around a lot lately is lifting the amateur status that has hindered many athletes from earning extra cash in college.

Right now, any kind of money earned for a student's athletic abilities has the chance to disqualify them from NCAA competition.

The worst case of this rule gone wrong was a kicker from Florida who had a YouTube account to show off his trick kick shots. The NCAA made him shut down the page because it had generated a few dollars through YouTube's AdSense program for the number of views the video received.

Allowing players to earn money based off their likeness would reward those who stand out among their peers. Also, the market for sponsorship would determine an athlete's worth, leaving the NCAA no responsibility or liability. That alone should make the NCAA consider adjusting some of their rules to help make this "pay the players" campaign go away once and for all.