Players pushing to unionize NCAA

Just when you think you’ve heard it all something else pops up that just shocks you. Y’all know I’m from the South and down there we have two religions in the Fall: college football and church.

Growing up in Georgia I knew the tunes to most of the SEC college football songs right along with all the hymns from Ft. Street United Methodist Church. In 1982 when I was attending the University of Tennessee and we beat Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s Crimson Tide from Alabama for the first time in 12 years — yep, I ran onto the field and helped tear down the goalposts.

I wonder what ol’ Coach Majors and Bryant would think of the news coming out of Northwestern University this week that the football team is working on creating the first labor union for college athletes.

According to CBS News

“The football team at Northwestern University is leading a fight off the field. Players are filing papers to create the first labor union for college athletes.

Now anyone who knows anything about college football knows it’s a big time multi-billion dollar enterprise. When I showed up at Tennessee, Neyland Stadium was a big horseshoe and had bleachers at the north end, opposite the Tennessee River side, and sat about 75,000. By my sophomore year the lower portion had been enclosed and the stadium held about 90,000 — we opened up that year with powerhouses USC Trojans and then a Georgia Bulldog team with some guy named Herschel Walker.

Just remember the 1981 Sugar Bowl game between Georgia and Notre Dame when the freshman sensation Walker played with a dislocated shoulder and led Georgia to a 17-10 victory over the Fighting Irish and a National Championship.

Now, what if Herschel was a member of a college football players union?

I don’t see there’s anything wrong with giving these student-athletes a stipend during their respective season that allows them to take care of some basic needs and just get a pizza now and then. Generally these student-athletes are already receiving a scholarship to an institute of higher education, something not to be dismissed. Some may consider that compensation, but I consider it a reward for a given talent that they should turn into an incredible opportunity — consider where Richard Sherman came from and received a scholarship to Stanford.

But this idea of a college football players’ union is the wrong approach. The NCAA rules prohibit athletes from being paid to play, but they can receive compensation in the form of scholarships and living expenses.

CBS News’ Michelle Miller asked Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, leading the push for unions, whether that was enough.

We’re very grateful for the education that we get, and we put in hard work to obtain the degree at the end of the day,” he said. “There are essential rights and benefits that we’re missing out on.

There we go again with that misused word, “rights.” What right does Mr. Colter believe he has beyond, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because he can throw a football?

Colter says athletes are missing out on fully-funded athletic scholarships, due process for alleged NCAA violations and guaranteed coverage for medical expenses for current and former players. In order to be recognized as a union, the players have to prove they’re employees of the university, a claim the NCAA flatly rejects, saying in a statement, “This … attempt to turn student-athletes into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education. Student-athletes are not employees, and their participation in college sports is voluntary.”

In other words, no one is forcing these student-athletes to play sports and there is no force or coercion when they decide what school they want to attend and accept a scholarship.

However, Ramogi Huma who played football at UCLA has fought for college athletes’ rights for more than 15 years. He says schools explicitly bring players to school to “provide a service athletically.”

I think Huma has it all wrong. After all, individuals make a decision to sign their name and play sports. That’s not hiring. They’re given an opportunity based upon a skill set, and the primary reason for attending college isn’t to play sports but to get an education.

DeMaurice Smith, head of the NFL Players Association, said the real question is not whether the players will be paid but “what’s the best way for college athletes to protect their rights. So whether it’s the sleeping car porters from years ago, whether it’s the women’s movement in order to attain the right to vote, you can only do that if you can collectively come together to protect your rights.

Just think of who is running the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). I don’t put it past the progressive socialists who despise all tradition to unionize college football. After all, it was President Obama who said, “if I had a son, I wouldn’t want him to play football.”

Hmm, I just had a thought. Northwestern University is just outside Chicago. Saul Alinsky is from Chicago — along with President Obama, David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, Rahm Emmanuel, Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Hillary Clinton, and in June 2014, the Communist Party USA will hold its 30th National Convention in? You guessed it, Chicago where it all began in 1919.

Damn, I hope we don’t start have to saying “Comrade-Athlete.”

C’mon NCAA, just provide a reasonable monthly stipend before the liberal progressives screw up my favorite sport!

26 COMMENTS

  1. Well, if they want to get paid, let them turn around and pay for their schooling. They will realize just how much they are already making. Get rid of scholarships if they want a payment. I also agree that they should get a small stipend, but a salary? Get real.

  2. If college athletes are paid employees should pee wee league be paid also?. How about the park and rec league? Would they be employees?. Sounds a little crazy. Hope ncaa stands their ground.

  3. If the schools put up with this they deserve everything that comes their way and it won’t be good.34 years in unions and never met a finer bunch of back stabbing two face crooks.

    • How about dont pay them and make them pay for their education. They are playing a GAME. They have no real influence on mankind or the rest of the world. But because we Americans put so much stock in entertainment they are treated special. Just like any other entertainers. Why should ANY SPORT player make millions a year. ITS A FRIKIN GAME!!!

  4. This country has lost it’s MIND! WHAT NEXT…. ? What next? The Marxist have infiltrated to a point where I don’t think we can come back… We, as in America, are going to look just like Detroit! Great, just F’ing GREAT!

  5. Typical. Free or severely discounted education at top notch schools, room and board, and they want paid too? ITS A FRIKIN GAME!!!! You dont even deserve the benefits you already have in my opinion. Entitlement nation…

  6. Do these idiots not realize that the payment they seek is the SCHOLARSHIP THEY RECIEVE? Other kids are FORCED to go to another school of their CHOICE do to these rube’s decisions to attend……

  7. What a bunch of bull! College football players are already a bunch of over pampered, spoiled, over privileged, young men. If they don’t think what they already have isn’t enough then I will also add ungrateful to the list.

  8. First thing I would cut if they unionize would be football scholarships. If they are employees then they have to pay for their schooling.

  9. They should be paid enough that by the time they graduate – and the IRS has their way with them – they leave school as conservatives. 🙂

    • Wouldn’t I be wonderful if all of us could be as big a loser as Allen West??? Let’s examine all his failures in life! Grew up in a poor black neighborhood, graduated college with honors which I’m sure you believe he didn’t earn, served in the army as a lowly Lt. General! I could go on, but the only loser I see here is YOU! He could well become our second black president (I hope) and erase the memory of our first!! THIS IS A MAN OF HONOR UNLIKE THE CURRENT RESIDENT OF THE WHITE HOUSE TO WHOM HONOR IS JUST A MEANINGLESS WORD!!!!

  10. Since many colleges are government organizations the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to ALL employees and their volunteer workers. That said there are restrictions on hours worked per week and other safety issues like OSHA mandates. If the players unionize they then have to be employees. As such the players and their employers are subject to all employee tax, labor, safety and human engineering standards mandated by the US and State governments. Obamacare included.
    Would that mean when a player has reached the end of the 40th hour of team meetings, practice and playing time is either benched or paid time and a half overtime. That’s what the law says; at the end of 40 hours an employee must stop work or be compensated at the rate of time and a half. And, all meetings, travel, dress out before and undress after a game is on the clock as it is part of the employment.
    Next, the benefits they are receiving in scholarships may be viewed by the IRS as income and the player would have to pay both US and State taxes on it and any stipend or books the are given by the university. Additionally, the college and player would, as employees, be required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on the player’s income.
    This guy, like most liberals, didn’t look at the other side of Newton’s law of Motion. There are equal and opposite reactions. I have only touched the tip and there are tons more under these.

    • In sports, if a player isn’t performing up to expectations, he’s benched or cut from the team! Since, in sports, your only as good as your last game, players have to strive to live up to those expectations. In the business world; it’s what have you done for us lately?????? (Spent 50 years in the business world)

  11. In most European countries education does not depend on athletic skills or the wallet of the parents. Education is considered an investment in the future of the economy. Student loans are at very low rates (1 or 2 % interest), only to be turned into regular loans when someone drops out.
    I understand in the US it’s the other way around, student loans are more expensive than regular loans, regarded as a personal investment (correct me if I’m wrong). Which makes the ‘American dream’ less accessible for those who were not part of it from the start…

    • I’m sure of the players were fairly paid even a tiny bit of the profits being made off of their work, they would be delighted to pay for their education.
      Between all the money made airing college games on TV and the countless, if the players were fairly paid… they would have plenty of money for college with a lot left over.

  12. The closest analogy to this is major junior hockey in Canada and parts of plus the Pacific Northwest, Michigan, and Pennsylvania (collectively, the Canadian Hockey League), where the players get a small stipend and other benefits and are represented by the Canadian Hockey League Players’ Association. The question is: would this be a union per se or something like the CHLPA? Many of the arguments that apply to this discussion could apply to the CHL leagues with just a minor tweaking of the article.

  13. Countless millions of dollars are being made… between airing college games on television (those commercials aren’t free) and the tons of money made, not just in ticket sales, but in memorabilia using the players’ images.
    Players wanting to be paid isn’t communism… it’s pure capitalism.

  14. Student athletes are the laborers in an organization that does not provide enough incentive to stay. Sure some of them are paid extravagantly after their NCAA service but what of the hard working kid entertaining the countless with his craft who never sees a dime for on field efforts. He/she gets a college degree sure but what if there’s only a small scholarship involved? Then we’re talking a man or woman paying to work themselves to the bone for a school and athletic association who reaps the rewards from their blood sweat and tears. The simple fact is no other business charges or gets away with not paying people for services rendered. I have a lot of problems with the way the NCAA operates personally. The financial starvation of it’s work force is only one small hiccup in their order.

  15. What about the other sports in these colleges? If you want equality then all of the athletes get equal pay for the hours they required to spend for their sport. Let’s be realistic. Fair is Fair. No scholarships as not everyone to plays at that level get them.
    No discrimination against women’s sports. Each university will only be paid for their participation.

  16. Each university will get equal TV time. All will have a home game televised equal time.
    No more contracts for every week. ie ND. Revenues capped for TV revenue. I may have to start watching my VHS tapes more.

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