Kain Colter and several other Northwestern players want to start an organization that would allow student-athletes to bargain collectively. That organization's primary stated purpose is not to allow those athletes to get that paper, as explained quite well by Jason Kirk. But you're still going to see plenty of people focusing on the money and saying that this would be the first step in the end of college sports as we know them.
And here are why their feared outcomes would actually be awesome.
1. "Some schools won't be able to afford a football team anymore!"
Great! In 1990, we had 107 Division I schools. By 2000, we were up to 116. Now we've hit 125. Trimming the fat means better teams and fewer mismatched games. We've got more than enough football to watch during the season as it is, and the bowls are becoming ludicrously overextended. So schools start having to make some tough decisions. That's better than hiring Ron Turner.
2. "The players might strike and we'd lose games!"
While, yes, it would be inconvenient to you, the poor fragile flower of a viewer, to not be able to watch college football for some extended duration, think of who it would REALLY fuck with - the coaches. You're going to have your fall Saturdays thrown out of whack. They're going to have their entire reality and reason for being shattered. Can you even imagine what some of these coaches would do without film to study or practice to run? It'll be like burning down a hoarder's house and making the poor bastard watch the flames rise.
3. "It will ruin the competitive balance and tilt things in favor of the rich schools!"
Ignoring the absurd baseline that this argument is based on, so what? This isn't the NFL, where it's in everyone's interest to take steps towards parity so that no one franchise becomes worthless. The people who currently throw money around in college football aren't doing it because it's an investment; they're doing it because they are rich and crazy, and wouldn't you like to see what a Dothan businessman with no restrictions can do to convince a Bulgarian powerlifter to come play for Auburn? Because I sure would.
Maybe you're right and we're heading down the path that leads to the ruination of amateur athletics. Bring that shit. Let's get Thunderdome with it.