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Today's opinions are a mishmash from everywhere (NONPARTISAN)

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.67 minutes to read.

“As another college football season kicks off on Saturday, the fundamental inequities of a billion-dollar industry built on the backs of a mostly unpaid labor force endure. How we got here is worthy of inspection…

Many of the bylaws ratified in the organization’s original constitution endure in some form today: prohibited payments to students based on athletic skills, banned player recruitment, limited player eligibility to four years for non-professional athletes – though it notably allowed both coaches and institutions to financially benefit from intercollegiate athletics. Concerns over the growing commercialization of the industry persisted in the decades that followed, but the advent of television – and the sale of broadcast rights – sent revenues into the stratosphere.

Young athletes have long accepted these conditions simply due to lack of paid alternatives. Since 1990, the NFL has refused to allow players who are less than three years out of high school, while the NBA installed a similar one-year rule in 2006. These age restrictions, which are collectively bargained by the professional players’ unions and thereby exempt from antitrust laws, have forced aspiring professional athletes into a college system that effectively serves as a developmental pipeline for the pro circuit…

From its earliest days, it’s been clear that US college sport has never been purely about the competition. Now at last, public opinion appears to be shifting on how much of the pie the wealth creators are obligated to.”

Bryan Armen Graham, Guardian US

“The NCAA’s hand was forced by some states who rightly recognized that players should be compensated for use of their name, image and likeness and for generating millions of dollars for their coaches and schools…

Most… young people start a business that is related to a passion or skill they have such as software or logistics. Young athletes will now have the opportunity to do the same thing — start a business based on their passion and skills in the athletic realm.

While the new NCAA rule may provide millions for big name college football and basketball players, it will also help a number of athletes further down the college sports food chain. Many of them are women who are unlikely to have a lucrative post-college professional sports career.

Even for in-demand players, it makes no sense to bank everything on a potential payout in four years when an injury may leave a player penniless and skill-less. A player can now hedge themselves and make some money during college and learn valuable and marketable skills at the same time. Don’t lose any sleep over the NCAA or colleges. They will be fine. And now the players will be a little better off, too. This is a true win-win.”

Fern O’Brien, member of the Daily Camera Editorial Board

Today's opinions are a mishmash from everywhere (NONPARTISAN)

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.66 minutes to read.

“It is sad to see the Big 12 disintegrate, but it is a fact.

There is a big realignment party going on, and the conference is not invited to the dance. More than likely, though, some of its members will be.

It would be surprising if Baylor isn’t already talking to the Big Ten — which has 14 teams — or even the Pac-12.

The Bears are not perfect, but they do bring hundreds of thousands — maybe millions — of TV viewers.

It also would not be surprising if Oklahoma State and Iowa State are whispering in the ear of the Big Ten.

At least one of those three schools is going to jump, and when it does the Big 12 is history.

The one who makes the first move — and it is strictly based on future financial stability — will leave the others with less negotiating power.

It is about survival in a world that is going to have an even number of power conferences, either two or four…

Change was inevitable. While it may have been kick-started when Texas and Oklahoma asked to play in a different backyard, it is a long way from finished.

What the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 said with their alliance is they are players in the game, and the Big 12 is not.”

Wally Hall, Assistant Managing Editor Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

“College football is remodeling itself once more, as the biggest teams and conferences consolidate their power.

And yet it doesn’t feel like a revolution. It just feels like college football is finally being honest with itself…

The Texas and Oklahoma move is the mammoth one… The prevailing reason, of course, is money. Why stick around with a lower-watt conference—and less dough—if more cash is around the corner? The SEC is already college football’s shiniest conference…

Meanwhile, the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC are forming an alliance to…well, it isn’t completely clear. It seems rooted in some hope to counterbalance SEC dominance and create some intriguing scheduling possibilities…

There’s some irritation—the Big 12 is not happy, to say the least—but there’s also plenty of shrugged-shoulders realism. Why wouldn’t Oklahoma and Texas make a move?

Same goes for “name, image, likeness” reform, which is in its infancy. The early wave of endorsement deals for college athletes is an acknowledgment of the obvious—players have real economic clout…

Last year, the sport dove headlong into a pandemic and played inside empty stadiums because its TV deals were too valuable to pass up. It’s hard to observe that and cling onto the nostalgic idea of college football being driven by regional and school pride—and how accurate was that notion anyway? Big-time college football has always been an economic beast.”

Jason Gay is The Wall Street Journal’s sports columnist