“If (athletes are) not comfortable on campus and they want to monetize, then let the minor leagues flourish. Or go to IMG. Train at IMG. Get agents to invest in your body, get agents to invest in your likeness, and establish it on your own. But don’t come here and say you want to be paid $25,000 or $50,000. Go to the (NBA) D-League and get it. Go to the NBA and get it. Go to the NFL and get it. Don’t ask us to change what we’re doing, because we think there are a lot of good things to preserve.”
– Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany on the dialogue about pay-to-play opportunities for NCAA athletes, to a small group of reporters in the conference’s new offices in Chicago.
Delany’s comments strongly recommend for athletes who want to “professionalize themselves” to make the jump to professional minor leagues as opposed to college athletics, saying “Why is it our job to be minor leagues for professional sports?”
As a recommended conference model, Delany said each conference should legislate their own rules by which schools can provide more benefits to cover full cost of attendance for college athletes. Yet, he said “I feel as strongly as I did 20 years ago it’s not pay-for-play.”