That's the thing, though. There is next to no impact. My degree hasn't suddenly become less valuable because people think some athletes got over. Because...and I think we agree on this here...that's just the way it is.
McCants, had he graduated, would have likely gotten $80,000 worth of education, not to mention perks (which...come on...you know he had), housing, and other stuff, in addition to that degree. I would have to believe that he, Felton, and May brought more than that to the University from their own blood and sweat over those three years. Most...MOST...kids aren't going there and bringing in that type of cash. Psycho T brought in more than that, more than likely, and he knows Swahili!
ETA: In my ideal world, these players would get paid as contractors. The opportunity for free education would be an option, not a must, and they'd have free reign of the school. I know there's a ton of reasons why that can't happen, but it'd be nice. They'd have the NBA option, and there'd still be players for universities to get behind.
And...just for full disclosure...I chose UNC as my school strictly because they have an awesome athletic program. I could have gone to other good academic institutions, but I wouldn't have had as much fun, since a lot of my life is sports-related.
I've never said that the players don't deserve what they get as far as the free education and other monetary "perks" for all the work they put in (and we all know it's more than the NCAA-mandated 20 hours). If you read my posts here, you'd know that I advocate that they don't get nearly enough. However, when it comes to earning the degree, I think they should have to meet all the same requirements as every other student does.
Maybe a compromise would be to create a whole new curriculum for athletes who aren't interested in a traditional college education. Instead of a Bachelor or Arts or Sciences, they could develop a Bachelor of Athletics. The athletes that pursue it would earn credits by participating in their chosen sport, but could also have a class or two each semester in subjects that would be more practical for them; like nutrition, basic physiology, money management, etc. If they complete it, they would still have something they could apply to their lives whether they go professional or not, but their degree would be more indicative of the actual work they put in to earn it while they were in college. And in no way would that preclude the athlete who wants the B.A. or B.S. from enrolling in one of those degree programs, it's just an alternative for those who don't.