Time magazine has made a coverboy of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with a feature story advocating that the NCAA pay its student athletes.
The full story is behind an online pay wall for the moment, with the newsstand version yet to be distributed. But Time.com put an extensive excerpt online free of charge. The NCAA's fruitless investigation into whether Manziel profited from thousands of autographs for memorabilia dealers, in violation of eligibility rules, was a late-summer flashpoint for the issue of compensation for college athletes.
Said Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson: "That's crazy to me that it's not allowed. Actors, actresses -- these people can sign things and get paid for it. How come this kid can't? How come a kid that's at a high level, that's going to be offered a big amount of money, can't sit down and be like, 'Damn, this is my decision?'"
Though some advocate allowing college athletes to profit from their own names and/or likenesses, others believe colleges should pay stipends to all college athletes as a more equitable solution, albeit a far more difficult one to put into practice. The NCAA, however, is facing heavy public scrutiny as well as calls from conference commissioners for reform.
Added Stanford sports economist Roger Noll: "The rising dollar value of the exploitation of athletes is obscene, is out of control."