Pay college athletes? On Background’s 4 takeaways

College athletics is a multimillion-dollar industry, but some events of this college football season have intensified an old debate about whether the players who take the field should receive more of the profits they help generate.

PostTV’s Nia-Malika Henderson dove into the conversation this week with a Twitter chat Tuesday and a live show Wednesday. Below are four takeaways from the show and from feedback from the Twitter community:

1. Lots of money is made using NCAA stars’ likenesses. Why none for them? Here’s what our panel said:

High-profile player suspensions have exposed the potential hypocrisy of institutions profiting off their athletes' likenesses. Post columnist Mike Wise, NYU professor Robert Boland and documentary filmmaker Andrew Muscato discuss. (The Washington Post)

2. Don’t forget the “student” part of student athletes. And the costs that go along with it.

The demands of being a student athlete means players must often put their sport before their studies. Mike Wise, Robert Boland and Andrew Muscato debate which should come first. (The Washington Post)

3. Amateur rules were put in place for a reason.

But are those reasons still valid? Or is the “spirit” of college sports a thing of the past?

Often studies take a backseat to sports for student athletes. So should the education be traded in for payment? Andrew Muscato, director of "Schooled," and The Post's Mike Wise weigh in. (The Washington Post)

4. Something is going to change. The On Background panel says change is inevitable. But it’s anyone’s guess what form it will take.

Filmmaker Andrew Muscato, sports attorney Robert Boland, and Post columnist Mike Wise all agree changes are needed with college sports and compensation. (The Washington Post)

You can watch the full On Background episode on paying college athletes here, and see our Twitter chat here. Tell us how you would fix the system on Twitter using #Postback.

Natalie Jennings is a Web producer for PostTV.

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Tom Jackman · October 16, 2013