College Athletes Get "Paid" Enough!
You try to say that the recruit gets nothing? how about a free education? with books covered? with room and board covered? with tutors? It cost me about $20K a year just in tuition, plus another $500+ a semester for books, plus another $1000/month for living expenses and food. Over 4 years (10 month school year) that is about $125K. That's not enough?
Now in the SEC it may not be much of an "education", but they do get degrees if they so choose. And let's be honest - an athlete (especially at a big time program) gets a lot of perks and the degree he earns, although it may look the same as mine, is different. Here is a little story:
I went to a PAC10 school and I had some friends on the men's soccer team. All of the athletes are basically given a list of "recommended" classes (I have no doubt that this is the same all over the county and a lot worse in some places). I made the mistake once of taking one of those classes with a few friends (my thought was since they're "recommending" this to the athletes - and the class was full of football and basketball players - then it must be an easy class). However, what I did not think about was the grading curve. I graduated with about a 3.4 GPA, but I received my lowest grade in 4 years in that class - a C-.
A friend on the soccer team - who I helped in the class and who admitted after the final that he was clueless - got a B+. We laughed about it and I learned my lesson, but really, is that fair? And you want to give these athletes more than that?
And on top of that, most of these athletes would never even be admitted to these colleges if not for being able to play football/basketball/etc. It's a joke.
The whole Cam Newton thing is a joke. His dad was shopping him around, but that's OK, because he was unaware? Seriously, how many players in the NFL, MLB, NBA, etc. negotiate for themselves? Who could you trust more to take a fall for you than your pops? Nobody outside of the most ignorant Auburn supporter really believes Cam is completely faultless in this, but for some reason ($$$$) the NCAA wants to create this fiction that it was all Cecil and Cam was completely unaware. The NCAA is just digging itself deeper and deeper into a hole and in the end it is going to bite them in the ass.
They may never find the money - what would be the two easiest places to launder money? perhaps a church? or maybe a casino? conveniently enough those are both involved here - but the NCAA could have (and should have) sent the message that if you're going to shop your kid around, then he is going to be ineligible for at least one year
It's the whole "mens rea" argument - essentially moral culpability/state of mind. In most states "attempted" murder or "attempted" robbery or "attempted X" are treated the same and punished the same as X. Just because you tried to do X, but failed, we're not going to give you a break for that (are we supposed to reward someone for being an incompetent criminal?).
It's the same here - you tried to shop around for a "pay for play" scheme, whether any money exchanged hands or not, you attempted that and you're going to get punished for that.