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Northwestern University football players can unionize, federal agency says

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Northwestern University football players can unionize, federal agency says

Old 03-26-2014, 12:44 PM
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Default Northwestern University football players can unionize, federal agency says

CHICAGO – In a stunning ruling that has the potential to revolutionize college athletics, a federal agency said Wednesday that football players at Northwestern University can create the nation's first college athlete's union.
The decision by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board means it agrees football players at the Big Ten school qualify as employees under federal law and therefore can legally unionize.
The Evanston, Ill-based university argued college athletes, as students, don't fit in the same category as factory workers, truck drivers and other unionized workers. The school plans to appeal to labor authorities in Washington, D.C.
Outgoing Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter took a leading role in establishing the College Athletes Players Association, or CAPA, which would take the lead in organizing the players. The United Steelworkers union has been footing the legal bills.
Colter, whose eligibility has been exhausted and who has entered the NFL draft, said nearly all of the 85 scholarship players on the Wildcats roster backed the union bid, though only he expressed his support publicly.
CAPA attorneys argued that college football is, for all practical purposes, a commercial enterprise that relies on players' labor to generate billions of dollars in profits. That, they contend, makes the relationship of schools to players one of employers to employees.
In its endeavor to have college football players be recognized as essential workers, CAPA likened scholarships to employment pay -- too little pay from its point of view. Northwestern balked at that claim, describing scholarship as grants.
Giving college athletes employee status and allowing them to unionize, critics have argued, could hurt college sports in numerous ways -- including by raising the prospects of strikes by disgruntled players or lockouts by athletic departments.
The NCAA has been under increasing scrutiny over its amateurism rules and is fighting a class-action federal lawsuit by former players seeking a cut of the billions of dollars earned from live broadcasts, memorabilia sales and video games. Other lawsuits allege the NCAA failed to protect players from debilitating head injuries.
NCAA President Mark Emmert has pushed for a $2,000-per-player stipend to help athletes defray some of expenses. Critics say that isn't nearly enough, considering players help bring in millions of dollars to their schools and conferences.
CAPA's specific goals include guaranteeing coverage of sports-related medical expenses for current and former players, ensuring better procedures to reduce head injuries and potentially letting players pursue commercial sponsorships.
For now, the push is to unionize athletes at private schools, such as Northwestern, because the federal labor agency does not have jurisdiction over public universities.
During the NLRB's five days of hearings in February, Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald took the stand for union opponents, and his testimony sometimes was at odds with Colter's.
Colter told the hearing that players' performance on the field was more important to Northwestern than their in-class performance, saying, "You fulfill the football requirement and, if you can, you fit in academics." Asked why Northwestern gave him a scholarship of $75,000 a year, he responded: "To play football. To perform an athletic service."
But Fitzgerald said he tells players academics come first, saying, "We want them to be the best they can be ... to be a champion in life."
An attorney representing the university, Alex Barbour, noted Northwestern has one of the highest graduation rates for college football players in the nation, around 97 percent. Barbour insisted, "Northwestern is not a football factory."




http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2014/0...l-agency-says/
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:20 PM
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This could be a real Game Changer

WOW !
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:26 PM
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Wow, this could get interesting.
I don't know if this is the answer, but there is a lot about college athletics that need to be fixed. Maybe the threat of a union will back the NCAA and the universities into a corner, and bring about the necessary changes.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:00 PM
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I can barely recognize the Country I have grown up in.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:01 PM
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The beginning of the end for college sports. This will trickle into all college sports, not just football. Typical liberal mentality of the entitlement generation. You owe me more than a free education. Good ole Chicago at its best
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by twobyfour View Post
The beginning of the end for college sports. This will trickle into all college sports, not just football. Typical liberal mentality of the entitlement generation. You owe me more than a free education. Good ole Chicago at its best


Top academic schools will follow the Ivy. Then mid levels. Then college sports will be played only by truly academically qualified kids because athletic scholarships will be a thing of the past.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:15 PM
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I played at a Big 10 university and I will tell you absolutely that scholarship athletes in the major revenue generating sports are employees. The hypocrisy of the NCAA is outstanding with regard the wages they pay for the income that these stars generate. The crap line that it is about the purity of the sport that the public believes confirms the old adage that a fool is born every minute.

That being said this ruling if upheld, and it will probably be stayed and ultimately appealed to the Supreme Court, changes things for only part of the country. There are many states, particularly in the south that are right to work states. Also the state universities will be impact by the public employee union strictures. The group that will take it in the neck first will be the private universities. They do however as private organizations have the ability to buy the best talent that they can find. Check out the Ivy League for potential employment, eh?
Let us hope that it at least sheds some light on the dirty dealings that the NCAA has swept under the rug for years on end whilst profiting immensely.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronn Burgandy View Post


Top academic schools will follow the Ivy. Then mid levels. Then college sports will be played only by truly academically qualified kids because athletic scholarships will be a thing of the past.
Is that a bad thing? From a purist point of view of what the NCAA claims college sports represents that is supposed to be what is happening anyway. Those gifted enough to be pros will jump to the professional leagues through th existing established feeder systems of minor league, D league, etc.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:35 PM
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I don't like this because I don't think it's the answer. What I do know is this is the fault of the NCAA because it is beyond worthless.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:37 PM
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Is this a great country, or What?

Federal Gvt. declares sodomites the same as married heterosexuals.

Federal Gvt. declares (NLRB) that scholarship athletes the sames as union pipefitters.

Federal Gvt. declares (SCOTUS) declares Obamacare a tax, even though lawmakers crafted it as NOT a tax.

Federal Gvt declares (DOD) female and male Soldiers and Marines identical.

Federal Gvt. declares illegal pot legal.

etc. etc.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tireless View Post
I can barely recognize the Country I have grown up in.
Thinking the exact same thing.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dssmith View Post
Is this a great country, or What?

Federal Gvt. declares sodomites the same as married heterosexuals.

Federal Gvt. declares (NLRB) that scholarship athletes the sames as union pipefitters.

Federal Gvt. declares (SCOTUS) declares Obamacare a tax, even though lawmakers crafted it as NOT a tax.

Federal Gvt declares (DOD) female and male Soldiers and Marines identical.

Federal Gvt. declares illegal pot legal.

etc. etc.
Wtf? What does any of your diatribe have to do with this topic?
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackfindan View Post
Is that a bad thing? From a purist point of view of what the NCAA claims college sports represents that is supposed to be what is happening anyway. Those gifted enough to be pros will jump to the professional leagues through th existing established feeder systems of minor league, D league, etc.
Not in my opinion. I'm not from the south, so I've always viewed colleges predominately as a place for higher education, not entertainment.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by txj33p View Post
I played at a Big 10 university and I will tell you absolutely that scholarship athletes in the major revenue generating sports are employees. The hypocrisy of the NCAA is outstanding with regard the wages they pay for the income that these stars generate. The crap line that it is about the purity of the sport that the public believes confirms the old adage that a fool is born every minute.

That being said this ruling if upheld, and it will probably be stayed and ultimately appealed to the Supreme Court, changes things for only part of the country. There are many states, particularly in the south that are right to work states. Also the state universities will be impact by the public employee union strictures. The group that will take it in the neck first will be the private universities. They do however as private organizations have the ability to buy the best talent that they can find. Check out the Ivy League for potential employment, eh?
Let us hope that it at least sheds some light on the dirty dealings that the NCAA has swept under the rug for years on end whilst profiting immensely.
I have a degree from a large state university that is held in high regard and fairly prestigious in this part of the world.

I believe that scholarship athletes are getting every bit if compensation they deserve through academic scholarships. These guys at my alma mater are handed a great education on a silver platter, not just through being afforded the opportunity to attend for free but also by not really having to work that hard for a degree that among a lot of employers carries some weight.

Maybe I'm biased because it hasn't been that long ago that I was in the system. I know exactly how hard I had to work and how much money I had to pay for my education. The same education that the athletes are given as compensation for playing sports. Not to mention being given the platform to showcase their abilities, learn and become better players, and ultimately further their careers.

And yes I also believe the "purity of the sport" is at stake. Call me a fool but I'm a fool who pays a lot of money for season tickets, as do a lot of other fools. Money I would never pay for tickets to a professional sport. A lot of draw for alumni to donate and spend money on tickets is the fact that our respective institutions have a special place in our hearts, and were a huge part of our lives, but also the purity of the sport.

College athletes are athletes who are given a tremendous opportunity and free education. Many if these men and women would not be able to attend esteemed universities otherwise. They are not employees.

Ok rant over
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronn Burgandy View Post


Top academic schools will follow the Ivy. Then mid levels. Then college sports will be played only by truly academically qualified kids because athletic scholarships will be a thing of the past.
The ivy leagues just give the athletes a academic scholarship to get around the rules.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronn Burgandy View Post


Top academic schools will follow the Ivy. Then mid levels. Then college sports will be played only by truly academically qualified kids because athletic scholarships will be a thing of the past.
Doubt it. Rev gen per player far exceeds scholorships. There is a deal to be done. Money talks... Big time college sports has always been a business maybe iti is time to be honest about it.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronn Burgandy View Post
Not in my opinion. I'm not from the south, so I've always viewed colleges predominately as a place for higher education, not entertainment.
I agree. Dam you are wise.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by JCM 1420 View Post
I have a degree from a large state university that is held in high regard and fairly prestigious in this part of the world.

I believe that scholarship athletes are getting every bit if compensation they deserve through academic scholarships. These guys at my alma mater are handed a great education on a silver platter, not just through being afforded the opportunity to attend for free but also by not really having to work that hard for a degree that among a lot of employers carries some weight.

Maybe I'm biased because it hasn't been that long ago that I was in the system. I know exactly how hard I had to work and how much money I had to pay for my education. The same education that the athletes are given as compensation for playing sports. Not to mention being given the platform to showcase their abilities, learn and become better players, and ultimately further their careers.

And yes I also believe the "purity of the sport" is at stake. Call me a fool but I'm a fool who pays a lot of money for season tickets, as do a lot of other fools. Money I would never pay for tickets to a professional sport. A lot of draw for alumni to donate and spend money on tickets is the fact that our respective institutions have a special place in our hearts, and were a huge part of our lives, but also the purity of the sport.

College athletes are athletes who are given a tremendous opportunity and free education. Many if these men and women would not be able to attend esteemed universities otherwise. They are not employees.

Ok rant over
For big time programs the scholorship $ received are a small fraction of the revenue generated by the players. That is simply a fact.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:34 PM
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A union for temporary employees. Sounds like a great plan to me.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by NJLorelei View Post
For big time programs the scholorship $ received are a small fraction of the revenue generated by the players. That is simply a fact.
You're absolutely right. How do you put a monetary value on the fact that the majority of these players would not be able to get the level of education that they do either because of lack of funds or not sharp enough academically. Hard to value that.

Also if a player doesn't believe the free education that they receive, the preferential treatment they get in most classes , and the unlimited academic resources at their hands (read: tutors, test banks, etc.), not to mention all the nike gear, bowl game travel, stipends, and the HONOR of representing their school on the field, training, national tv time, are
Fair compensation for their efforts on the field, then they should not accept the scholarship, turn down the education, and get a job or head to the combines. Their choice.
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