"It would be really orderly and easy. It wouldn’t be that hard. Players would sign contracts, they’d be bound by those contracts. They’d perform per the terms of the contracts, as would the school.
"The complication of [a new system], those in charge are using it as a barrier of change. They’re saying, 'It’s too complicated, we can’t figure it out.' But boy, they can put together a college football playoff in two seconds and make a billion dollars.
They’re saying, 'It’s too complicated, we can’t figure it out.' But boy, they can put together a college football playoff in two seconds and make a billion dollars.
"All they need to do is say it’s an open system, you can pay what you like. The other rules: You’ve got four years of eligibility, you can play those four in five. You have to remain in good standing as a full-time student in your institution. You have to qualify academically the same way in order to be able to play. And then if I’m recruiting you—like if State U comes after you and says, 'We think you can be a great player for us. We will offer you a three year contract—$100,000 a year plus room, board, and books. A condition of the contract is you will have to remain in good academic standing all times. If you fall out of academic standing we have a right to terminate the contract. If you get arrested, or charged with a crime/misdemeanor we can terminate the contract. If you decide to leave, you can’t play anywhere else for a year. Can’t play the pros, can’t play in college. You can’t go and compete against us because we’ve made an investment in you. We can’t force you to play here but we can keep you from playing somewhere else.'
"And then your side would say, 'I think I’m good enough to leave in two years. So, I’ll take a two-year contract—even though it would probably be for less money—but I want the opportunity to leave or renegotiate after two years. On the grades, I want independent verification of my grades. I want to be independently audited so if I play crappy and then all of a sudden my grades magically slip and I flunk out, then I’m all of a sudden ineligible—I need independent verification for that. And I’m not going to have my contract reliant upon some false arrest so if I’m convicted of a crime, I’ll agree to that. But if I’m just arrested on something, then no.'
"You would negotiate it out, the way anyone else would. It’s easy, it’s not that hard. The rest of the world is able to operate in the free market, and college athletics—just the players, that is—can’t?"