Once the courts bring in Title IX, this issue becomes a political quagmire and a nightmare to predict. Title IX has been seriously corrupted from its original intent and will be the 800 pound regulatory gorilla in the room. You cannot "split the baby" when it comes to Title IX and its wierd gender equity rules if you start paying football players. Something will have to give in college athletics.
Broad stroke, schools would be faced with the delima of keeping football and eliminating other mens sports programs to get to a "salary cap" they can afford. This case has the potential for destroying 10 to 30 percent of the college football or other male programs in the country, over night. The toll could be higher.
Keeping football, with its 40 plus roster of men, you would have to keep the women's soccer, basketball and softball teams, while perhaps eliminating those men's teams, to conform toTitle IX and to achieve some sort of salary cap the universities could afford. There is the problem of paying athletes, which makes them employees, and opens the universities up to future lawsuits, in the many millions of dollars per annum for injuries sustained in the workplace, just like the NFL is now paying out.
The number of compliance lawsuits would be staggering in the short term, depending on the clarity and scope of the ruling. This case has the potential to fundamentally alter the landscape of college athletics the year it is decided, and not in a good way. Upgrades to stadiums and the huge debt now faced by a number of universities in their sports programs might not be recoverable if the universities have to start paying athletes on top of their existing debt.
The list goes on and on, but this case has some awful potential for creating mayhem at the college level. However this goes, it will not end up being pretty.