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Various Tar Heel Opinions on Paying College Athletes

If you haven't read it already, go seek out Taylor Branch's Atlantic monthly story on the NCAA's long history of exploiting college athletes. It's a great piece of reporting, and explains a lot of the recent actions – or lack thereof – regarding NCAA enforcement. There's a lot of interviews with Carolina officials as well, despite never mentioning the current football-related woes, including three important people's views on paying players:

First, William Friday, former president and member of the first Knight commission:

"There's fear... We do every little thing for [television networks]. We furnish the theater, the actors, the lights, the music, and the audience for a drama measured neatly in time slots. They bring the camera and turn it on." 

Wade Smith, attorney and former UNC football player (who also, unmentioned in the story, was John Blake's lawyer initially):

"I don't want to pay college players. I just don't want to do it. We'd lose something precious."

And finally, fan-favorite and man of the hour, Dick Baddour:

"I would not want to be part of it... We would have to think long and hard about whether this university would continue those sports at all."

Friday, of course, has long wanted true amateurism in college sports, and a general deemphasis on their importance altogether. Baddour and Smith, of course, prefer the status quo. It's looking more and more like that's not tenable, though.