By Jack Fink

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – When it comes to paying college athletes, there’s no shortage of opinions.

“I don’t think they should get paid,” said Michael Moore of Plano.

Aaron Davis, who played four years as a defensive end on SMU’s football team, disagreed. “I think they could definitely do more and give athletes more money.”

Now, the NCAA has approved a plan that could give athletes in the major conferences such as the ACC, SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten, and Big 12, more than the scholarships that just cover tuition, room and board, books and fees.

Bob Bowlsby, the Commissioner of the Big 12 Conference based in Irving, called it a game changer. “It is for us.”

The conference includes schools like UT and TCU.

“What we’re doing is covering that expense to go to college,” said Bowlsby.

The expenses include traveling back home, school supplies, and entertainment. The payments could range from $2,000 to $6,000 per student depending on the school.

Bowlsby said players in all sports would be eligible. “The football players don’t work any harder than wrestlers and the men’s basketball team doesn’t work any harder than the women’s basketball team or the swimmers. So we feel like there’s a responsibility to make sure everyone has the opportunity for an enhanced scholarship.”

TCU released the following statement:
“We’re excited to have the Division one board of directors approve a structure that allows more flexibility to enhance the student-athlete experience. The well-being of our student athletes is always our top priority.”

Commissioner Bowlsby said the smaller conferences can approve similar plans if they so choose. He said the Big 12 Conference must submit its proposals to the NCAA by October 1.

The NCAA will vote in January.

If approved, student athletes could receive the additional expenses in the fall of next year.

While the topic often stirs debate, Jared Adams, remains neutral. “Honestly, I don’t care if they get paid or not as long as I get to watch good football, I’ll watch it.”

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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