With more than 460,000 NCAA athletes across twenty-four sports, it would be a logistical and political nightmare to pay student-athletes. First, athletic programs are gender-specific, and most men's athletic programs bring in more revenue than women's athletic programs. Should men and women be paid the same for equal work despite the fact they generate vastly different revenue? Or should men and women be paid proportional to the revenue they generate for the NCAA? Either way, paying athletes becomes a political nightmare. Further, should all student-athletes be paid the same regardless of division? Or should pay be broken down by division? Division III schools offer no athletic scholarships to students who play. Most student-athletes at Division III schools are students first and foremost, athletic commitments usually come second. Further, Division III athletes bring in significantly less money to both the NCAA and their schools than their Division I and II counterparts. Should they still be paid? Or should most of the money go to future pros in Division I? Paying student-athletes is a challenging task that will leave no one satisfied. Student-athletes should not get paid because there is no fair way to go about it.
While implementing changes to the NCAA will cause some logistical and political problems, this is not a valid reason for not paying players. It's simply a challenge. While it may not satisfy everyone involved, a solution that fairly compensates players can be achieved. It may not be the perfect solution, but it can be better than the current "solution" of paying no one.