College football and college basketball are big, big business, in which the primary beneficiaries of successful programs, are the colleges themselves as well as the coaching staff. For instance, collegiate football coaches, frequently make millions, and the budget for the biggest collegiate football programs can exceed fifty million dollars, with at the end of the day, often a very meaningful profit going to the bottom line of these colleges. As for the athletes, of which, there would not even be a game without their participation, they may receive full scholarships, or partial scholarships, or even some receive no scholarship whatsoever, and in any event, are never wage compensated for their actual play in the stadiums and arenas, despite often sold out venues and the millions that watch the games on television.
The reason why athletes are not compensated has little or nothing really to do with these student athletes being amateurs and therefore for the purity of the sport that they must not be paid; for apparently the thought is that money that reaches the hands of athletes would dirty the image and integrity of the sport, whereas that very same money that reaches the hands of colleges, along with their entire infrastructure, and the coaching staff, apparently is somehow not dirty. While it is true that student athletes do reap some benefits from playing sports, such as receiving full scholarships, and the education that that the college provides, they are, in no uncertain terms, being exploited by those very same colleges.
In the scheme of things, if a given person wants to give money to another person, there isn't any law that precludes such. This would seem to signify, that someone that is already classified as a "booster" to a given college, should be given the very reasonable option to direct some of their money into an account earmarked just for the student athletes of that program, and that monies received into it, would then be allocated to those athletes, of which, as long as a full accounting is provided to the appropriate tax authorities, as well as the money being divvied up to the athletes in some sort of fair and structured manner, that this would be a reasonable alternative to paying student athletes directly, as the money from boosters would simply be seen as a voluntary gift to student athletes, in which those athletes could, per their discretion, opt in or opt out in receiving such.
Perhaps having boosters essentially paying athletes would end up setting up even more of a divide between those schools with generous boosters and those schools without, but the structure of America already has that great divide to begin with; and reality of the situation is that anything that would help these student athletes to receive some sort of reasonable and well deserved compensation for their hard work and the sacrificing of their bodies in the field of sports, would be a vast improvement over the current outright exploitation of them, which basically is permitted because these non-profit colleges, are trying to disguise their true intent, which is that exploitation of those athletes for their exclusive benefit.