"Every Saturday in the fall, we pack college stadiums, raise the American flag, stand quietly as a marching band plays The Star-Spangled Banner, and cheer for a sport that prohibits capitalism.
College athletes cannot be paid. Every American knows this. The concept is as entrenched in our bloodstreams as cholesterol. We have accepted it for so long, and gone along with the NCAA's definition of right and wrong for so many years, that we don't even remember the reasons anymore.
They can't be paid because they can't be paid, because they just can't, because it's not allowed, because if it were allowed, then they could be paid. And they can't. Because it's not allowed. Got it?
Some day, we will look back on this era of college sports the way we look back on Prohibition. We'll see that there were some good intentions behind it, along with some misguided fears. The problem with amateurism in college sports is the same problem the nation had with Prohibition: It is impossible to enforce.
The simple fact is that college athletes want to get paid (who wouldn't?) and there are literally thousands of people out there who would like to pay them. Why are we stopping this? What is the big deal? What do you think would happen if your starting quarterback was allowed to take $100,000 from somebody who enjoyed watching him play? Would the Earth crash into the sun?
Should college athletes be paid? That's not really the question. No, the question is this: Should college athletes be a allowed to be paid? Should they be allowed to take money for doing something perfectly legal? Of course they should. In America in 2011, why are we even debating this?"