Paying student-athletes would result in other programs being cut
No school has enough money to pay student-athletes without cutting other programs.
Schools do not have the money to pay student-athletes without cutting other programs. The biggest revenue streams in the NCAA are men's basketball and football. For various reasons, women's sports are far less popular and have a smaller fan base. This results in them being less profitable for both the NCAA and schools. Mandating that student-athletes be paid essentially guarantees that most women's programs and less-watched sporting events like track and swimming will be cut. Schools simply do not have the money to implement this change while keeping all their programs. As a result, the less profitable ones will be cut. NCAA athletes should not be paid because doing so would cost other athletes the opportunity to play at a collegiate level.
While the money to pay players will have to come from somewhere, there are better solutions than cutting athletic programs. For one, some coaches are paid up to 9.3 million dollars per year. Taking just $300,000 from that figure and allotting it to that schools' athletes would leave the coach with $9 million and give all student-athletes a sense of financial security.