I don't think anyone with a brain (or who gets nothing monetarily out of them playing) is disputing the fact the kids should get paid something more than they get. But that said, you have to figure if they get paid now you have to pay woman's sports, who are a drain on money, and men's sports who break even or are a drain like baseball and rowing. In fact outside of Football and basketball, pretty much every sport uses more money than they make. Is it fair? No, but when you sign on the dotted line you know this is the way it will be.
When I was 18 I signed up to go and get shot at and get a chance to fight for my country, I got paid crap for a job that ensures our country's protection. Maybe instead of worrying about our entertainers, we should pay those who keep the US free.
I don't think the NCAA should have to pay those players. Like you said, then they would have to pay women's sports and other sports that don't make money. IMO, there are much easier and better answers.
I just think there should be a free market, where individual players can make money off their talent outside of the NCAA. A guy like Manziel should be able to sell autographs and other things to make money. The ability to sell autographs and other things should have nothing to do with the NCAA.
There should be a free market, where boosters can pay players and allow the players to make as much money as possible. What's wrong with that? Let the players have bidding for their services in recruiting if possible. If the NCAA weren't a fraud, they wouldn't have a problem with it.
Since the NCAA is a big money business, the players should have the right to profit from their talent in a free market system. That's the best way to deal with it. The NCAA isn't a "non profit" like they want you to believe.
The NCAA wouldn't have to pay players and players would make as much money as their talent would dictate. A scholarship system sucks, because a third string guy is getting the same deal as the Heisman winner. That is unfair.
The best answer is an NFL like system where better players make money. The better players would get paid more. What's wrong with that?
BTW, your last line is laughable. I have as much respect as possible for the military, but acting like athletes and soldiers are the same is delusional. Athletes are entertainers. Just like singers, actors, etc. That's why they need to get paid. People want to watch them perform.
People are willing to PAY to watch them perform. Who pays to watch the military perform? When people start paying to watch the military perform, then we can start comparing them to entertainers. Since the athletes are the ones performing, then they need to get paid like any other entertainer.