College football stars could be earning up to $2.4 million per year

(CNBC) — The debate over whether the top college athletes should be paid more like professional players continues to rage, even as those athletes now have more avenues for making money while playing collegiate sports.

While opponents argue that college football and basketball stars receive free college tuition, stipends and a platform to showcase their skills for professional teams, proponents of paying college athletes point out that those players’ skills bring in more than $14 billion in annual revenue for college sports programs, and only a fraction of that money goes to the players.

A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research looks to get to the bottom of just how much money the top college football and basketball stars would be making per season if they were compensated similarly to professional players, whose collective bargaining agreements with professional leagues assure them a roughly 50% share of league revenue.

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