Here’s a nice article from Grantland summarizing the Northwestern decision:
I like that this big step has been taken towards eventually reforming the NCAA system. Even if there really existed some hazy version of amateurism once upon a time in major American college athletics (this article argues that amateurism was ALWAYS exploitative and grew from tainted roots), it’s long gone. As is mentioned here, the work and dedication required to compete at those levels becomes more professional than amateur even BEFORE the college ranks.
And here’s one last further analogy for anyone arguing that college students shouldn’t get paid for playing sports because the school is giving them access to facilities, training, and platforms on which to showcase their talent:
How is that any different from what a professional team provides its players?