Paying athletes in college would do them a great disservice because the payment would not be focused on improving their scholastic achievement. But a more well-rounded view of the associated long-term consequences of underserving players may compel the sports-industrial complex to eventually put capital into the athletes’ academic development. That is where everyone—from the players to the fans, teams and institutions—can get a real return on their investment.
Charles D. Ellison is a veteran political strategist and frequent contributor to The Root. He is also Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia Tribune and chief political correspondent for Uptown magazine. Follow him on Twitter.