I always thought that "amateur" meant amateur
. Which means, no pay. Jim Thorpe was stripped of an Olympic Medal for having once played for pay, somewhere, eh? (It was later restored to him, but maybe it was posthumous.)
It seems to me there is something else going on here: the big, well-known Division I. schools actively recruit great athletes, many (most?) of whom are only pretending to pursue a university degree. If these athletes --- male and female--- were serious STUDENTS first, and athletes at the university, second
, then I think the word "amateur" might still mean something. ... Sure, the NCAA will do ANYTHING they can legally get away with. They will exploit any opportunity to make money for the institution. And those institutions offer academic degrees, but also happen to have athletic programs. OR IS THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG? Yes, these days, the tail DOES wag the dog.