Northwestern Football’s Union Ushers In The Death Of College Sports


Amid all the pointless questions at Super Bowl media day and never-ending hype surrounding “The Big Game”, something happened in Chicago on Tuesday that could change the way we look at college sports forever.

Football players from Northwestern University announced they plan to join a new union that is designed solely to represent college athletes.  The proposed union, called the College Athletes Players Association is headed by president Ramogi Huma and is already taking the necessary measures by submitting their proposal to the National Labor Relations Board.

In addition the to fledging union, the Northwestern players also have the support of the Steelworkers Union, which clearly means this is not a joke.

At this time, the Wildcat players are not asking for wages, like a paid employee, but are simply looking for better medical coverage and some sort of scholarship guarantee for injured players.  It’s just about representation.  It’s not about money…for now.

While the initial claims are for respect and school accountability for dire circumstances, anyone with a brain knows that the money is soon to follow.

For years, the controversial notion of paying college athletes has been a loud vernacular in the landscape of amateur sports.  Over the last forty years, the “student-athlete” has become more of a moneymaker for universities than any school president could ever have imagined in their wildest dreams.

With Northwestern forming their union, this is the athletes first decidedly bold step to getting their piece of the pie.  Obviously, labor unions are designed for representation in the terms of fair and equitable treatment from their respective employers.  Ahhh, right. Employers.

It’s no secret many big time money-making Division-1 schools are simply factories for soon to be professional athletes.  These “student-athletes” are recruited for what they do on a playing field and rewarded handsomely.  From free tuition, unlimited mountains of sports apparel, and on-campus “perks” some of us can only dream about, college athletes are not the paupers many paint them out to be.

I understand that the income generated by the teams is not equally distributed between school administration and the players, even if it is all the “benefits” that I listed above.  Simply put, the NCAA does not pay their student-athletes because they are considered amateurs.  But, maybe their union can collectively bargain that at the next sitdown.

Sounds silly, huh? Oh, we’re just getting started.

Soon the unions will have their hand in any and everything they see fit.  All of a sudden, agents are appearing on the scene.  Yes, these dirt merchants have their client’s (player’s) “best intentions” in mind.  Maybe, for example a star like Duke’s Jabari Parker doesn’t feel like he is getting the proper burn on the hardwood that he thinks he’s entitled to.  Fast forward to that press conference of Parker’s agent saying Jababri won’t be returning to practice until he gets his “respect”.

Sounds far-fetched?  Maybe.  Because those wages were agreed on for everyone equally, Parker has no case to go against this newly formed union.  Well guess what happens: Jabari Parker, arguably the mot exciting player in college basketball this year, doesn’t go to college.  He ventures on his own to play professionally while he waits to enter the NBA Draft.  So, now the college basketball product is left with watered down secondary talent.

It all boils down to the fact that once these athletes are paid like employees, they are no different from the professional players they aspire to be.  The only tiny element that makes them different is that they would all presumably be paid the same amount.  But, lets cut the shit.  We all know blue chip divas are not going to be on board with getting as much as the scrub who just walked on from East Hanover, Alaska.   Big-time players want to be paid like big-time players and not equally to inferior talents.

First the schools got greedy with the advent of an emerging industry worth billions upon billions.  Soon, the College Athletes Players Association or an organization like it, will lead athletes down the same glutinous road for cash.  Eventually, the fans get a watered down product and a form of college sports that in no way resembles what it used to be.  The college sports you and I know is now dead.

That premonition will soon be a reality.  See ya at the funeral.

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