I tend to think ESPN's Gregg Easterbrook has the most logical take on this. He was talking about the Georgia player who was suspended four games for selling his jersey on Ebay.
TMQ doesn't think NCAA athletes should be paid. My key point is that a small number of star players come out behind by performing as amateurs, but they create the value that allows large numbers of student-athletes who are not stars to get a college education either free or at reduced cost. But though college athletes shouldn't be paid, the persecution of them for slight misjudgments should stop.
It's not as if the Athletic Departments are turning a profit.
Where I think the departments fail is in paying $1 million or so to average to just above average coaches and athletic directors. If you cut the "wasteful" spending like this in half, you'd be able to give out even more in financial scholarships.