Any college sports fan has heard, and likely participated in, the decades-long argument about why NCAA athletes should or shouldn’t get paid. If you’re new to the issue, the athletes can’t get paid. If they do, they’re ejected and their college careers are over. And it’s not only money they can’t receive, it’s anything of value. If a coach so much as buys his/her athletes a bag of burritos from Taco Bell, that’s “compensation” that they aren’t allowed to receive. Making money from endorsing products, then, is also a giant no-no.
Unless, however, you’re a college cheerleader. That’s right — if you’re a basketball or football player whose efforts underlie the billions of dollars raked in annually by schools and media organizations and of course the NCAA itself, you fend for yourself. But if you’re a cheerleader, the cash can roll right in.