There is a HUGE difference between being a Grad Assistant and playing football. Yes, both can bring money to the University, but a Grad Assistant does not risk injury that can follow him/her for the rest of their life. Football players after 4 or 5 years of play can feel like they are 40 and injuries can plague them for life. Some will require surgery later that will not be paid for by the university. I believe this is what Tyler was saying when he said: "You have a torn pec or whatever at the end of the day and after 10 years, all of the injuries come back to you and you don't get anything out of it financially, but the school does".
I don't think most people have any idea what these players experience physically. All of these players would tell you that it is a privelege and an honor to play football for The Ohio State and they would not trade their experiences for the world, but there is a price they pay with their bodies and it follows them throughout their life.
Additionally, football players get two weeks off a year. They are expected to live in Columbus year round, yet stipends are reduced during the summer and don't exist during part of December because of the break - yet, they are there practicing for bowl games right up till Christmas. I do believe that they should adjust their stipends to cover the year in full. Additionally, I think they should receive enough to cover reasonable expenses above and beyond food and board. If they can't work, don't qualify for a grant or don't have parents to pay for car insurance, gas, general minimal expenses (toiletries, etc) and a cell phone, it can be very tough - especially for freshmen who do not get a stipend.
I very much disagree about being paid based on your popularity or skill. It is a team effort and this is an amateur sport. A quarterback is not good unless someone is blocking for him. A linebacker is good because of the defensive line in front of him. The team as a whole is good because of the scout team. To financially award players individually at this level does not make for a healthy amateur team. In my opinion, they have time for that at the next level.