If amateurism is totally sucked out of college athletics, I will stop watching college football. I have no interest in watching or promoting minor leagues.
I believe in doing more for the players and giving them a stipend--like many graduate teaching or research assistants get--will be a reasonable thing to do, but treating them as employees would be the end of the college football, at least for me. Instead of making them employees, let's scale down college athletics a little and allow student athletes to be both student and athlete.
As a graduate research assistant at tOSU, I worked my butt off. I got free tuition and a monthly stipend of $1600 for working 20 hours a week, but I don't remember working for less than 40 hours, and it was not uncommon for me or for my fellow research/teaching assistants to spend 70+ hours per week to meet the demands of their advisers and/or departments. My academic advisers and mentors who put in lesser hours than I did got paid handsomely. For most research projects, it is the graduate students who do most of the heavy lifting, but they don't get paid in proportion to their efforts. Should all the graduate students who get paid for 20 hours but have to work for 40+ hours unionize and start demanding a bigger share from hundreds of millions of research dollar?
As students, we have to make many sacrifices; monetary rewards seemingly don't match the efforts students put in. Why student athletes should be any different?