Certain people in the media are promoting this as a great idea. Ever on the lookout for their next crusade, they have decided that giving highly privileged teenagers more money for playing a game is their next Civil Rights Movement. Every week a chattering skull is demanding (demanding!) the NCAA pay players. Never mind that the players are being paid, in the form of tuition, room, board, training and promotion.
It’s a great example of how gesture politics works in a secular theocracy. There’s no analysis of the proposal or skepticism about it being possible. There’s not even the natural instinct of people making a living off of college sports, wondering if it will harm their interests in some way. It’s simply assumed to be good, because everyone in the hive seems to think it is good. Therefore, everyone in the media makes the grand gesture in support of it. It’s rule by gesture consensus.
You also note the choice of language. If the players were demanding a free market for their services, something that somewhat exists, but could be expanded, the media would not be enthusiastic for it. The handful of performers who play the libertarian role in the mass media would be required to speak on behalf of it, but otherwise it would get no traction. The fact that the players are “united” is what titillates the media. United is always seen as good, while divisive is bad. Boo divisive!
It’s a strange thing about the modern ruling class. It is the confluence of totalitarian sensibilities of Puritanism and the Jewish hatred of exclusivity. That means on the one hand everyone has to believe the same things, no matter what. At the same time, there better be no barriers to entry anywhere within society. That’s no who we are! It really is a nutty secular religion, in that it is everything it claims to oppose.
As far as the condition of college athletics, we see the same sorts of weird contradictions we see in official dogma. The universities are run by Progressives and all the players are black. yet, we’re repeatedly told that the players face all sorts of racial barriers. The lack of black coaches is blamed on alumni who write six figure checks, no questions asked, to the very liberal university leaders, who then never hire blacks.
At least everyone is united though.