I'm a native of Maplewood, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul. It was there that I was inflicted with the curse of being a Minnesota Vikings fan. There is still no known cure, though many times I wish there was. I'm also an avid follower of the Minnesota Twins and of course, the Iowa State Cyclones.
I'll admit (and often have) to being as cynical about the NCAA as anyone. It's a greedy, hypocritical and ineffectual organization that rakes in billions of dollars while claiming to protect the integrity of college sports. You may not agree, but you’re probably familiar with the whole song and dance by now so I won’t bore you with it. However, this article (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-02/the-lawsuit-that-could-bring-down-the-ncaa.html) has me thinking about what would happen if the NCAA just disappeared. On the plus side, student-athletes would likely be able to receive compensation commensurate with the revenue they generate. By witch I mean: Get paid, yo! But would that allow the structure of collegiate athletics to continue? Almost certainly, no. You’ve heard of non-revenue sports? Say goodbye to those. In fact, about the only thing that would keep women’s collegiate sports afloat would be Title IX, meaning that about the only sports that would exist are football, men’s basketball and whatever women’s sports would help balance out those numbers. It seems to me it would be hard to keep a women’s swimming and diving team afloat (ha!) when you need that money to pay players in your most popular sports. I’ve also read a very convincing argument that the number of college football and basketball programs at the highest levels would shrink to about 30-35, about the same number of teams that exist in the professional major professional leagues. The pool of talent is pretty limited and there’s only so much money to pay the best players so it seems sensible that the cream would rise to the top and the consumer (fans) would put most of their time and money toward watching the best teams and players. That scenario would take away a lot of the atmosphere that I think make college sports so special. This is why prefer the “Olympic model” of compensating athletes, in which the money wouldn’t come from the school itself but from the athletes taking third-party endorsement money. That would ease the burden on schools directly paying athletes while the players get to reap some reward from their notoriety more in line with their value. I see it as a win-win, with one exception: This is basically another step toward paying players directly. I guess you can’t win them all.