LOS ANGELES -- The topic of whether student-athletes should be paid is not a debate in the eyes of the NCAA's new president.
Mark Emmert has made it clear that under his watch, college athletes will not be compensated as though they were professionals.
"They are student-athletes. They are not our employees, they don't work for us," he said. "They are our students, so we don't pay them."
Speaking at a Town Hall Los Angeles luncheon on Wednesday, Emmert touched on a variety of topics, including NCAA funding, enforcing rules infractions, conference realignment and the Bowl Championship Series.
Emmert officially assumed his duties late last year and already believes the NCAA is doing as well now as at any time in its history.
Emmert's stance is that high-profile athletes should not be rewarded financially for their contributions, with the opportunities presented while participating in college athletics serving as a reward in itself.
"They get to have experiences that very few students get a chance to enjoy," Emmert said. "If they take full advantage of it, they will have spectacular opportunities in life."
As it pertains to alleviating impermissible benefits, would providing stipends to athletes be a viable alternative? Not so, according to Emmert.
He doesn't believe that infractions such as taking money from a prospective agent or selling sports memorabilia stem from athletes being broke, as is widely the perception.
Emmert said that all the NCAA is asking for in exchange for what athletes receive while on scholarship is to simply not break the rules.