This is awesome

The NLRB has said that athletes at Northwestern can form a union, which is likely the beginning of the end for big-time college sports.

Even if this decision doesn’t stand, this is the beginning of the end. The whole system of college sports is going to have to change or collapse. The problem is that, in their shortsightedness and their greed, the NCAA and the college presidents it represents almost have guaranteed that the process will be sudden and bloody. If they had worked with their athletes toward some sort of soft landing over the past 20 years, all of that might have been avoided. I always has reminded me of how Bill Veeck once warned his fellow baseball owners that the reserve clause was blatantly illegal and that it would one day fall and, if they were smart, they’d abandon it so that they could better control the fallout. If they didn’t, Veeck cautioned, then some judge would strike it down all at once and baseball would be thrown into chaos. The other owners ignored Veeck, and his scenario came to pass, and we were treated to 30 years of labor strife because of it.

The current system of college athletics is doomed. It is untenable, and now it’s under assault from too many directions. There’s the O’Bannon case in Los Angeles, and Jeff Kessler’s anti-trust suit against the NCAA, and now this. Somebody better seriously start thinking of negotiating the terms of the inevitable surrender.


2 thoughts on “This is awesome

  1. Well as Longhorn fan, I feel we could buy any player we wanted instead of Auburn and USC and Oregon buying off all the talent. considering our eWe could use the 15 mmUSD ESPN gives us for our network to pay the entire team 6 figures. Of course that would mean that University Academics would no longer get their 5 mil.

    That said, this is terrible for non revenue sports as most schools would not be able to keep up with the well funded schools.

    Further more, if athletes are now considered employees then they will be taxed. Since they are no longer students they get no waiver.

    Finally I have a hard time feeling bad for athletes who are given every advantage and opportunity who basically just have to go to class, play a game most would kill to play, and fuck coeds (or dudes if you are from mizzou).

    Fuck those crybaby entitled pricks. I’m sure there are plenty of players who will play for free.

  2. I’m certainly not surprised that you feel this way, but it will be similarly unsurprising to you to hear me tell you you’re wrong.

    The vast majority of college players will never see pro sports, but are still pressured to place football ahead of all other concerns at places like Alabama and Texas and (yes, obviously) Northwestern. Their employer — and they are absolutely employees — controls every aspect of their lives, especially their chance to see big money in the NFL.

    Banding together in a union is exactly the right step. Yes, this (and the ongoing concussion problem) will drastically change football specifically and college sports in general. As it should. It doesn’t matter what you do with the money (and big-football money’s role in the U at large is probably overstated) if you’re earning it unfairly on the backs of people you use up and throw away, and who have no chance at participating in the upside.