Thursday, March 27, 2014


Yesterday there was a ruling by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board that football players at Northwestern University can create the nation’s first union of college athletes.

I have not seen the wording but are athletes who are receiving scholarships are considered to be employed in their specialty by the school. Weirdly Northwestern although a high ranking academic institution is almost at the bottom of the Big Ten in all major sports.
Fortunately next year starting this this fall, Rutgers will be in that conference to fill Northwestern’s role.

It is true that there is big money in football and the big costs are the horrendous high remuneration the top coaching staff receive. In most top schools the coach’s pay far exceeds that of any other university official.

The NCAA has created a multi-industry monster which many schools consider  to be a form of advertising and bring in students. There are the gambling issues  reflected in pools and  fantasy teams; plus the tournaments,sales of articles etc..Yes College sports is big business.

The NLRB’s determination was based on the fact that these athletes spent most of their time at school on their sport and that the scholarship money was really payment for their participation in an income producing event.

There is some validity in that position since many players are not interested in academics and are looking for a quick route to a professional career. It is known that many, like the members of the Kentucky Basketball team, chose a “one and out” status.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out when it reaches the Supreme Court. That it will.

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