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Let's Start Paying College Athletes

Sara Cwynar

Mark Emmert, the president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the almighty overseer of American college sports, likes to think of himself as a reformer. A few months ago, after he’d been on the job for a little more than a year, he pushed through a series of improvements, including slightly higher academic standards for college athletes, a full-scale review of the N.C.A.A.’s fat rule book and a new provision giving universities the option of offering four-year scholarships. The current one-year deals are, believe it or not, renewable at the discretion of coaches, who can effectively cut injured or underperforming “student athletes,” as the N.C.A.A. likes to call them.

And one other thing: With Emmert’s backing, the...

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