Athletic Leaders Debate Paying College Athletes

Related Story

COLUMBIA - It's not the first time the issue has made headlines and it certainly won't be the last. The topic has been sparked yet again, thanks to an electric athlete in College Station in Johnny Manziel. So can the question finally be answered, is it time to start paying college athletes? 

Former Missouri All-Eight lineman Howard Richards thinks it is time to change this NCAA rule.

"They are apart of a program that generates lots of money for the university they should be able to benefit in some way," said Richards. 

It seems like everyone is on board. Even Missouri Football Coach Gary Pinkel agrees.

"I think it's the right thing to do and I think it is the fair thing to do. It is not going to be a ridiculous amount of money, but it certainly will put a little extra money in their pockets so they can make their college life a little bit easier," Pinkel said. 

No matter who is on board, the rule will not change unless people of authority start talking. According to Missouri's Associate Athletic Director Chad Moller, the SEC officials have been pushing for the change in the latest SEC meetings.

"The talk there was pretty unanimous, at least among football coaches. They feel like that is something that should get done," Moller said. 

Regardless of who is on board with changing the rule, the bottom line is NCAA athletes still cannot get paid to play. Columbia College's basketball coach Bob Burchard thinks the reason the rule hasn't changed yet is the numbers are too complex.

"I am not convinced that you can really come up with an equitable dollar number. What a football player might be worth as opposed to a non-revenue sport athlete. Gender equity would be another issue that you'd have to struggle with," Burchard said.