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AJ McCarron says college football players should be paid

Aaron M. Sprecher / Associated Press
AJ McCarron cited Alabama's rise in yearly revenue as one reason why college athletes should be paid.

As the starting quarterback at Alabama, AJ McCarron saw first-hand how much money a major college football program can generate. McCarron can even rattle off the enormous rise in yearly revenues after the Crimson Tide won three BCS championships in four seasons, which is the main reason why he endorsed pay-for-play.

"I truly believe during some point in the future college athletes should be paid," McCarron said in an interview with "Crowd Goes Wild" on Fox Sports 1. "The NCAA, it's not a bad organization, and don't get me wrong, it's an unbelievable organization. But in some way they are taking advantage of college athletes that sign their name to a certain school."

Compensation for players has emerged as one of the top issues in college football over the last few years. Several possible solutions have been floated, including a stipend covering full cost of attendance and allowing players to sign marketing deals.

The issue is back at the forefront with Northwestern players announcing Tuesday their intent to form a union, though pay-for-play is not an explicit part of the National College Players Association platform.

What is clear is that every time the NCAA touts education, only to be followed up by another news story touting a $400 million stadium expansion or $4 million contract extension, their argument is tone-deaf at best and disingenuous at worst.

As McCarron said, "Eventually something has got to give, and players end up being paid."

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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