1-The difference between college and the pros is the emotional attachment we have to the institution. We share common feelings and memories of times spent in similar situations. Winning and $ are not the most important common denominators.
2-The ideals of amateurism prioritizes fair competition, an even playing field, and playing for the love of the game. “It’s a business” tarnishes the ideals of the experience. Hiring mercenaries for 1 or 2 years leaves a sick feeling in the bottom of my stomach and lessens my attachment to the teams.
3-NIL and the current state of NCAA enforcement have made it the Wild West out there. It seems to have removed all constraint and decorum. The “innocence” of the college campus in fall, or the “Hoosiers” ideals of the gym are gone. $ is the goal and how you get there doesn’t matter.
4-Throwing $ at kids who have little ability to maturely plan and save for the future is not doing them a favor. College years are when those skills and character traits are developed and refined. Very few have the ability to deal with that kind of $ even in the pros.
I realize there has always been problems with the ideal of amateurism but I fear we have thrown the baby out with the bath water. Instead of trying to improve we have abdicated. Such are the ramblings of a fan who longs for the “good ol’ days”. And yes I do recognize many of the ideals listed above have lost favor with the masses. Perhaps that is the saddest thing of all.