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June 13, 2014

Pay for play? Prospects believe it's coming

MORE: Complete Five-Star Challenge coverage

BALTIMORE -- College football is in a state of reconstruction, from the postseason to conference realignment to potential player compensation. It is this last issue that will most affect the players gathered for the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour last weekend, and prospects offered an educated view of the situation and various possible solutions.

Five-star cornerback Iman Marshall felt all college athletes should earn a stipend, but the amount should be based on how much revenue the team generates.

"(College football players) generate money for all the teams, track, golf," said Marshall, the top-rated defensive back in the nation according to Rivals.com. "Every college athlete should get a stipend, but the teams that generate more money should get a bigger stipend."

Four-star quarterback Blake Barnett agreed that college football players should earn a cut of the revenue.

"It is only fair," said Barnett, who is being pursued heavily by Oregon. "(The players) should get at least something since the school makes so much money off the program through T-shirts, fan apparel and stuff."

USC-commit Chuma Edoga, the top-rated offensive lineman in the nation, offered an interesting solution that would turn the college football recruiting world on its ear. He feels it should be an open market, with each school deciding how much it wants to pay its players.

"That might mess up recruiting, but that's the way it is," Edoga said. "If the colleges are making millions, the players should get a cut of it."

Not every prospect at the elite event felt athletes should get more than the current scholarship. Tyler Carr, an offensive lineman from Southside, Ala., feels what athletes receive is sufficient.

"They already pay for my education and pay for my meals and things like that," he said. "What more could I ask?"

The tax implications from receiving income as an athlete gave pause to Isaiah Langley. The four-star defensive back from Pleasanton, Calif., feels paying players would open up another level of complexity to the situation.

"You already get a free education that is going to set you up for the next 40 years," Langley said. "They should just leave it."

But there were more players in favor of getting paid than leaving things status quo. John Houston, the No. 1-rated linebacker in the nation, said getting a stipend would ease the stress some of the less fortunate student-athletes are under.

"You wouldn't have to worry about getting a job," Houston said. "You can just concentrate on school and your sport."

The issue is certainly one that will continue to be debated, and change feels like it is on the way.

"Players are out there marketing for the schools during the game," said Class of 2016 quarterback Malik Henry. "Players should get paid, and I think they will."

Bill Trocchi is an editor for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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