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Just get it over with and pay 'em

I've come to the conclusion that the NCAA's usefulness has come and gone a long while ago.  Rather than tracking how many phone calls take place and other such nonsense, which does nothing but cheapen the reputation of that organization, the NCAA should instead focus on running championships.  Why not just pay the players?  By doing that, the players would become employees of the college, which they are now like it or not, and they should also have the benefit of free tuition, room and board and books.  If the players flunk out, they would no longer be employees and would lose salary and benefits (tuition, etc.).  For example, the top division players could earn $50,000, the next division $25,000 and so on.  In exchange for their salary and benefits, they would be full time employees with requirements to train, play in games, and practice over the summer.  Furthermore, if the players quit to become pros or do something else, then they lose salary and benefits.  You could also have a division where players are not paid a salary, to give colleges an option in that regard.  To be fair, other students currently working in athletics as managers or other occupations could receive a salary as well.

This could raise ticket prices, but with TV and other deals of sponsorships, it should be feasible.  Finally, if a team does well in the national tournament run by the NCAA, the players should get a bonus.  Some logistics and other considerations would have to be worked out, but since the NCAA is in fact the minor leagues for the major sports, recognizing and admitting to that fact could be an epiphany to all involved.  Thanks for reading.

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