There's a big argument that these kids are being underpaid or undervalued by the market, and should get paid. If that were the case, a minor league professional system would surely be able to be formed by the market. But the thing is, people don't want to see random kids competing. They want to see them competing for THEIR teams. College athletics makes a ton of money not because of the talent they have, but because of the teams themselves. I wonder if they really would make any more than that in a competitive free market. Minor league baseball players rarely make much, and those that do are the prospects that are tied to professional teams who are basically being locked away and trained. But the real value being brought to the table is from the universities themselves. If Terrele Pryor played for the Chilicothe Cowboys, I wouldn't give a damn about his games or what his team did. It's only because silver helmet that causes me to follow him. I follow college football for the tradition, the rivalries, and the familiarity. The talent on the field has little to do with it.