As a result of a petition by the College Athletes Players Association in cohorts with Northwestern players, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Northwestern athletes can unionize. The decision is obviously a result of a ridiculous political grab and greed.
It is often common for unions to come in and destroy a good thing, but now to do so when employees are not even involved is rather stunning. These players are not on a payroll, they do not receive W-2s, and they are not taxed on anything they receive as a result of their scholarship.
This old gimmick has been used all too often. No matter what job you do, school you attend, or whatever else you may be involved in, there are days that you may believe you deserve more. That's human nature. The scheme is for union and so-called leaders to come along in order to create the "bad guy", aka whoever controls the most dollars, to dwindle as much money as they can out of the situation.
As reported in 2011, of the 120 FBS athletic departments, only 19 percent posted a profit. Universities do not have the money to pay players. We all know that is what this is about, money. It is greed by players and unions. They see money being made and want more for themselves. Naysayers of the current system who are pushing for college players being paid are only looking at the amount of money coming in and not the money going out; these type of people are either too afraid to pick up a calculator, disillusioned by lies, or are just flat out selfish in demands.
"At Louisiana State University, where football is profitable and conference-rights revenue has surged, officials recently agreed to transfer $7.2 million a year from sports to academic programs hurt by budget cuts." (WSJ)
So which is it? Should the volleyball program be cut? Maybe a science program? What do you want to cut so college athletes can unionize to be paid as employees?
Of course, debaters on this issue will argue the marketability and wealth created by players such as uber famous Johnny Manziel. Northwestern players' marketability and worth is not even in the same ballpark as Manziel and it is a blatant joke that these players think they deserve more; And I thought Northwestern players are supposed to be smart. Oh and does anyone now even remember why Johnny Football became so marketable? Let me remind you. It's because Texas A&M gave him a scholarship and coach Kevin Sumlin made the decision to start, at that time, an unheralded quarterback. Manziel now looks to be a first round pick for the NFL Draft in May.
As a senior in 2013, Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter was one of the leaders to help push the petition. Colter has drastically overvalued himself and is on a pursuit to destroy college football as we know it. He has surely earned his worth or more while at Northwestern. According to the NRLB, the Northwestern players on a scholarship typically receive grant-in-aid totaling $61,000 each academic year; upperclassmen on scholarship, who choose to live off campus, receive a monthly stipend totaling between $1,200 and $1,600 to cover living expenses. I was at Big Ten Media Days this past summer and Colter wasn't much of an attraction; actually only a few reporters or small crowd at the most surrounded his podium.
According to the numbers presented about the athletes' grant-in-aid by the NRLB, that would mean Colter has acquired nearly a quarter of a million dollars in aid while at Northwestern. You tell me? Do you think the typical person knows who Kain Colter is? Do you even think the average person in Northern Illinois knows who Kain Colter is? I very much doubt many do. But for some reason he believes he's worth more than a quarter million dollars to play football at Northwestern.
On NCAA.org, it states that 82 percent of Division I athletes earn their degrees and also that USA Today figured a men's basketball scholarship to be worth $120,000 per year. As well on NCAA.org, there is a long list posted of benefits for student athletes including: college education, academic success, scholarships, student assistance fund, academic/support services, medical care, elite training opportunities, healthy living, exposure/experiences, and preparation for life.
Another argument by the NLRB is that the student-athletes are subject to different regulations than a typical student. But that is irrelevant and misleading. The players are subject to different regulations due to enrolling in the football program just like a student that may enroll in a science program that involves more lab hours and other stipulations as well as some student programs that require studying abroad. The regulations are different because they are different college programs.
This can open up a whole new can of worms or mean nothing at all. If schools don't want to deal with unions, then they can just offer scholarships or playing time to non-union players if negotiations fall through with the union which would likely put the unionized players on strike. Otherwise, I hope colleges stick to signing players that want to play football for the school, not for money.
In essence, the ruling makes it possible for volunteers (or other students) to be organized under labor unions. It is an astoundingly ignorant decision by the NLRB and in the future, it should have no real legitimate basis legally speaking. For college students to be unionized as a labor organization, athletes or not, is absurd and a radical overreach of the current labor system. I expect this issue to be arbitrated further in every realm possible.
It's about reaching for money. If the players are worth so much, then why don't they start their own league or go play for the Arena League. It is because the colleges help launch players into success, whether it be in the NFL or in the professional work world. If these players created their own quasi semi-professional team, it would bomb out or most definitely their careers would lead to much less success.
The money and notoriety of the sport has elevated this discussion, but to say that the players are the only ones that generated the money is weak-minded and shows a lack of thought. As much as I sometimes despise the mothership, ESPN's television contracts and marketing in college football has led to more dollars. Even bloggers like myself and other media members have contributed. The universities may have the most invested with years on years of name notoriety and work put into their respective establishments.
What is my solution? Players are not employees and are student-athletes. If they were professional, they would have their own league. The student athletes are receiving an education in the classroom and in football and they are being compensated more than enough for that.
Here is something that I wrote a couple years back and it still holds true. Really take time to think about what you are reading below:
"The best way to set your family up for life is learning to become a man and learning humility. Most importantly to learn that money is not everything in life. Family and friends are more significant in anyone’s life than a mere fat paycheck. I would trade a million dollars for a loving family any day. A family benefits much more from a respectable humble man than they do from someone that just has a fat paycheck. We see all the time how rich celebrities overdose on drugs, because they don’t care about their life. We have also seen many fallacies in athletes of where they just blow their money, end up in addiction, and sometimes worse. Do people not understand that this (education) is not about money? It is about becoming a man."
What Do You Think?
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