It's certainly an excellent topic for discussion. I think it's safe to look at the current trends and understand that at some point soon, the setup of the relationship between college athlete and school will change. And you can't blame the athletes. In the past, college athletes would get a scholarship in return for playing basketball/football at that school. But at that time, the only real revenue was the gate receipts. The business has changed and we're now talking billions of dollars generated in those two sports and all the athletes get is the same thing they got 50 years ago. When the change happens, we don't know. But it will in time.
The effect on conference realignment will be a great one as well. At some point, if there is a pay-model, not every school will be able to compete. Schools will move, conferences will change, and the landscape won't look the same 25 years from now.
The most interesting thing about this, is that if affects way more than just the Big 5 conference. If this goes through a athletes are considered employees, I assume that virtually all of D1 would drop all scholarships overnight. I see no reason for any non Big 5 conference school to go along with this, the money does not justify the means, not even for the Big East, MWC, or AAC. Maybe this forces the split from the NCAA a finally moves us into the era of the super conferences.
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...