As long as the colleges are making money off of their performances. Being a college football player is not only hard work, but is truly a full-time job. Yes, they get meals, tuition, etc., but what, in turn, does the school receive back? MILLIONS! I think that's unethical. They increase tickets prices for these performances. The player actually loses out on the opportunity to take advantage of internships, summer jobs and other activities that would enhance ones ability to get a job once they leave college. So, I think they should be paid.
College athletes deserve to have at least half of the money they make for the college. They're risking their health, they may end up in a wheelchair and never walk again and all the college may do is let the student stay at the college. What if they didn't have a scholarship and had to leave the college because they no longer are doing what they promised they would do for the school. With the money they would make, they could pay off student debt and (possibly) pay hospital bills, and get them ready for there future. The athletes should be paid because you may never know what will happen to that athlete, you have to be ready.
Do you have any idea how much revenue these athletes bring these colleges? I know that they get partial or full tuition, but education should be free anyway. I do think they deserve a cut of the money. I understand the opportunity they have, but still, fair is fair here.
College athletes are making millions of dollars that they don't see a penny of. Many of them do receive scholarships so they are sort of compensated in that way. However, many of them have no interest in school and many of the degrees they may or may not actually receive in the end, are useless. The real problem is that college athletics are the only way to work up to professional athletics. There should at least be a minor league available where athletes can play and it is not tied to an education. That way they could be paid and they would still be able to play professionally if they are good enough.
I think it would probably be more pure if the money could somehow be removed from college athletics. Since I don't see that happening anytime soon, and since there are many who rely on the college athlete for their six-figure salaries (coaches, athletic directors, networks, NCAA, etc) I think it is less immoral to pay the college athlete than it is to continue to exploit them. The notion that college athletes are getting a free education is false. Education usually takes a back seat to athletics.
I believe in theory that it's ethical for college athletes to have a portion of the tremendous amount of money that a good college program generates, but ethics are not a part of the reason it wouldn't work. A very good college football team has maybe 50 or 60 players on a team. The only logical pay scale would be for the starting team on both defense and offense to be paid more than the remaining players. A good college team has players that never actually get into a game all season. How much would they be paid? It's very easy to say college athletes should get a piece of the money the sport generates, but the actual nuts and bolts of the situation wouldn't work.
I do not believe it is ethical to pay college athletes. College athletes are usually given a free ride and receive extra benefits through the school. I think these colleges need to remember their primary purpose, which is education. Funds should not be used to cut a check for a few select students, they should be used for the purpose of the institution. Paying college athletes is not ethical.