Texas A&M’s Jay Arnold joins the chorus of advocates for pay-for-play

Nick Bromberg

As the NCAA continues to wrangle with the idea of athlete compensation, Texas A&M defensive tackle Jay Arnold made some thought-provoking comments Sunday in favor of a pay-for-play system in the NCAA.

At the NCAA convention last week, the sanctioning body noted support for a separate voting bloc for the five power conferences -- the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12. If that voting bloc becomes a reality, so too could increased compensation for athletes through a full-cost-of-attendance stipend.

That's a change that's been initiated by outspoken voices like Arnold's. He played in eight games as a freshman at Texas A&M in 2013.

Players making money off their own names is the core issue behind the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit. It challenges how the NCAA and its member schools make money off the likenesses of athletes and the current (nonexistent) compensation given to them.

While athletes at schools in the big conferences could benefit in the near future thanks to a change in NCAA governance, it's not a perfect fix. Athletes at schools outside of those conferences may not see any benefit at all.

An Auburn fan immediately seized on Arnold's tweet about likenesses to mention the T-Town Gallery in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Earlier in the week, a photo was published of a display in the store with the signed jerseys of current Alabama players Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon for sale.

It's currently a NCAA violation for college athletes to receive compensation for their signatures. However, it was not clear how the items in the picture were procured. Alabama issued a statement saying it was aware of the story.

In response to the Auburn tweet, Arnold suggested that the best way for change to happen would be to simply ignore the NCAA.

While potentially noble, it could have dangerous consequences. Though if you've paid much attention to the pay-for-play debate as it has intensified, you can see where Arnold is coming from in his subsequent tweets.

In a documentary released in September, Houston Texans RB Arian Foster said that he got money to pay for rent and food.

The system is changing, even if it's ever-so-slowly. A decision in the O'Bannon case could accelerate it and the louder the voices get, the harder they are to ignore. With his tweets Sunday, Arnold isn't waiting until he's done with college to pitch in.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!