Paul Finebaum Jan 6, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; ESPN broadcaster Paul Finebaum during media day at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

A historic agreement was reached this week that will see college athletes paid directly by schools for the first time. After the NIL floodgates opened that finally allowed NCAA athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness after years of seeing their earning power unfairly restricted, the next domino has dropped very soon thereafter.

The implications of the settlement of the House vs NCAA lawsuit that also involved the Power 5 conferences will take a while to fully comprehend as the landscape of college athletics is irrevocably transformed. But the bottom line is that amaterusim is dead and revenue sharing is finally here. That was what ESPN commentator and longtime radio host Paul Finebaum summarized on First Take Friday morning, celebrating that the NCAA’s “sham” of amateurism is over.

“This is the most significant day in the history of the NCAA because the sham that the NCAA has always been is over,” Finebaum said. “They have always fought on every mountain to defend the right that this is really amateur athletics when we have all known that has not been the case for a long time. And finally they had to agree to it in court to avoid what? To avoid literally going out of business.”

“The NCAA plus the conferences that were dragged into it alongside simply waved the white flag. They have the money. This isn’t really to further ‘student-athletes’ so to speak, this is to prevail and preserve their own ability to continue to stay in business,” he added.

After years of putting it off, the NCAA (and the conferences) could not justify refusing to pay players any longer given the billions of dollars that are made from television contracts alone. But instead of taking any kind of forward or proactive steps, the NCAA has done so kicking and screaming at every turn and basically made others do the work for them through litigation. The NCAA institution has survived to this point, but now that the house of cards that the institution stood on for generations has finally come crumbling down, it’ll be interesting to see if it can keep rapidly evolving or if it’s living on borrowed time.