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NCAA President Mark Emmert To 'Explore' Paying College Athletes

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Within the past year the NCAA has exploded with pay-for-play scandals which include Reggie Bush returning his Heisman at USC, North Carolina's agent issues that led to multiple players being suspended from the team, Cam Newton's investigation about pay-for-play involving Auburn and Mississippi State, Ohio State had five players who sold memorabilia for money or tattoos and the most recent surrounds trainer/street agent Will Lyles who may have steered players to certain schools for cash.

Plus, the recent HBO's Real Sports episode regarding pay-for-play at Auburn and then there was PBS' Frontline segment about "Money and March Madness" which talks about the billion-dollar NCAA tournament business.

So, what is the NCAA to do to curb this problem.

Well, new NCAA President Mark Emmert wants to explore the possibility of paying college athletes: the NCAA basketball tournament's Final Four gathers [in Houston] this week - capping a three-week showcase that generates more than $771 million a year in television rights alone - Emmert acknowledges it's time for a serious discussion about whether and how to spread a little more of the largesse to those doing the playing and sweating.

"The sooner, the better," Emmert says.

He's not thinking big. Maybe bump up the value of players' scholarships by a few thousand dollars to take care of travel, laundry and other typical college expenses that aren't covered now. And Emmert isn't promising anything, only that he'll bring it up at the NCAA's board meetings in April.

"I will make clear," he says, "that I want this to be a subject we explore."

What is being proposed is to allow athletes a little bit of extra money that is generated from the giant billion dollar pie to pay for laundry, fill up their car with gas or get some decent food to eat. The amount is not a lot considering what others have been caught or allegedly caught receiving from outside sources. It is a good idea in theory, but it will not be enough for players to turn down six- or seven-figure deals, but this is a good start.

Another question is who gets this money?

Should it be revenue generating sports like football or basketball who get money or will the soccer and swimming team get cash as well. Then what about status on the team, will the quarterback make the same amount as the third-string defensive end. There are so many questions and logistics to figure out, but at least NCAA President Mark Emmert is going to broach the subject for consideration.