TL/DR; Most arguments for NIL are weak. One is not. It is enough.It kind of blows my mind some of y'all are so upset about these kids getting paid. The NCAA makes billions and these schools make millions of dollars and y'all don't think the actual product should get any piece of that?
And please don't come at me with the "they get a scholarship, meals, a place to sleep and workout, and some cool swag." Go spend a week in the life of an athlete at GT and you might think about it differently. Once TV took over college athletics (especially football), the whole amateur thing went out the window. The top 15 schools gross over $1.5 billion in revenue. The bottom 5 (power 5) schools gross close to $150 million. Those aren't quite NFL numbers, but it's not quite amateur numbers either.
I'll add that unless you're a football player or Mark Texeira type player in another sport, the school doesn't give a crap about you after you leave. It may have gotten better, but I spent the better half of a decade chasing a dream playing minor league baseball after my Junior year and when I tried to come back to school the AA wouldn't even help me get signed up for classes. I had to go through the regular channels (which I had never done in the past) to try and figure out how to finish my degree.
So I'm sorry if you don't like the kids getting paid, but save the small few, the school doesn't care about most of the athletes that come through their programs anyway. If they can make some money while making the school millions, I'm all for it.
I also understand most of it will be for the best football players, but even if some of the better baseball, golf or other sport players can even use get some free meals or a little cash in their pocket, it's better than nothing.
I'm conflicted about the whole thing because, like so many things in life, it's not a simple situation. Yes, I can see the argument that 'the schools make <insert large sums of revenue and pretend it is profit> dollars a year on TV contracts' and the 'kids get nothing.' It typically goes pretty much along the lines of: "X makes $$$. -> They are so greedy and undeserving. -> The 'kids' get nothing (because 'do it for the kids never gets old'. -> They are being exploited. -> They deserve a piece of the pie. -> etc."
That whole argument train is so tired and flawed that I fail to take it seriously and it really pushes me to be against the NIL push. Frankly, to me, it reeks of victim-mentality with a hidden subtext of race-baiting. Pretty much the standard 'us against The Man' weakness that dominates American society at the moment.
The truth is that everyone involved in this affair knows pretty much what they signed up for, and it's a cooperative attempt to take advantage of American love for sports to get what they (parents, kids, schools, networks) can out of it. In 99+% of cases the SAs were THRILLED to get the free-ride to school in exchange for playing a sport representing the school. Another kid would be more than happy to take that free ride, and for 95% of athletes the drop-off in performance likely wouldn't be all-that great (bell-curves are awesome that way.) I would have been more than thrilled, personally, to exchange a 20 hour a week (on average) job for _complete_ free ride to school. So to discount that really, really weakens the argument of those who are baffled by those who oppose the NIL question.
And the vast majority of people who argue against NIL rules really have zero problem seeing others 'get theirs.' To argue otherwise is just standard straw-man tactics and not even a very subtle attempt at that. Most people who are opposed to NIL are fighting for the very concept of amateur athletics. The reasonable arguments against NIL are attempts to fight the slippery slope of the 'money sports' going from amateur to professional. I think it's a legitimate concern for Basketball and Football; although likely too late.
All that being said, there is one legitimate argument that comes down hard on the NIL question. That is, any college kid can get a job while in college and be paid. That includes Student Athletes that are on scholarship as long as the pay is reasonably connected to actual work (and not just a booster-job.) So SAs should be allowed to take jobs as 'models' (for instance) in that situation, right? So the fact that their notoriety stems from their athletic performance should not be a determining factor if they can take a job selling their name, image or likeness, just like they can sell their time today. In fact, I'm not even sure rules should have been needed, as I can't see how schools or the NCAA can restrict a player from getting compensated for being a model or selling a product with their name on it. So, I think that SA's should be able to be fairly compensated for their NIL as I think it is a job just like any other. But that should not, in my opinion, include being paid by the school itself for their NIL related to the sport activity that they have signed a contract to participate in exchange for an education.