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Thread: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

  1. #31
    Member improbus's Avatar
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    All of this is fine, but all of your concerns about taxes, non revenue sports, and Title IX are missing the overall point. The system is corrupt, broken, and exploitative. It needs to change. There are a lot of smart people in the university system. They can figure it out. It's like saying that I shouldn't fix my torn knee ligament because I won't be able to jump as high after rehab. My knee still needs fixed. Let's do that first.

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  3. #32
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by improbus View Post
    All of this is fine, but all of your concerns about taxes, non revenue sports, and Title IX are missing the overall point. The system is corrupt, broken, and exploitative. It needs to change. There are a lot of smart people in the university system. They can figure it out. It's like saying that I shouldn't fix my torn knee ligament because I won't be able to jump as high after rehab. My knee still needs fixed. Let's do that first.
    True, but "how" is the hard part. Devil in the details, cure worse than the disease, all of that. A lot of proposed solutions I've seen equate to "some people's knees hurt therefore everyone has to have surgery." Not referring to you specifically, of course.
    For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible

  4. #33
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by dabvu2498 View Post
    Then every TA and research assistant and so on who receives scholarship money in return for services rendered is going to have a huge gripe.
    Graduate students on asistantships can already unionize. They are actual employees.
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  5. #34
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    First concussions, now their farm system potentially collapsing. What is the NFL to do.
    "Hyperbole is the greatest thing ever" Redsland

  6. #35
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by Newport Red View Post
    First concussions, now their farm system potentially collapsing. What is the NFL to do.
    Easy, Wednesday afternoon football and expanding the brand with teams in Crimea and Minsk

  7. #36
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by improbus View Post
    All of this is fine, but all of your concerns about taxes, non revenue sports, and Title IX are missing the overall point. The system is corrupt, broken, and exploitative. It needs to change. There are a lot of smart people in the university system. They can figure it out. It's like saying that I shouldn't fix my torn knee ligament because I won't be able to jump as high after rehab. My knee still needs fixed. Let's do that first.
    It's, by definition, not "exploitative" because nobody forces anyone to go to college or forces them to play football. Everyone is free to do what the other 99.9% of college students do -- borrow money and attend as a normally enrolled student.
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  8. #37
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    This will crush non revenue sports. I was a Swim Team Manager at UNCW in the mid 90's. Only a few athletes in Swimming got scholarships. The majority of the men's and Womens team were walkons. If they are now considered employees the teams will not exist. Last May UNCW tried to cut the now 13 time defending mens CAA conference champions and the 3 time womens CAA conference champion team along with 5 other sports.The chancelor ended up saving the teams after a very successful facebook petion drive. If this new union rule was in effect last May the teams would have been eliminated.
    Last edited by Gallen5862; 03-29-2014 at 05:06 PM.

  9. #38
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    It's, by definition, not "exploitative" because nobody forces anyone to go to college or forces them to play football. Everyone is free to do what the other 99.9% of college students do -- borrow money and attend as a normally enrolled student.
    No, no one is forcing them to go. But, what else is a 18 year old football star supposed to do? People make the flimsy argument that basketball players can go abroad or to the D League, but football players don't have that option. We have funneled them into a system that takes advantage of them. So, if there is no real choice in the matter, then ipso facto it is exploitation.

    As for the "every other college student has to pay their own way" argument, that is just not so. The entire economic model of a college is based on need. If you are someone the college "needs" then you get a scholarship. These are the kids who provide the school with something it wants, be it needed diversity, athleticism, or academics. If you do not provide those things, then you need the college more than it needs you and you have to pay. There are no students who provide a school with more and get less than the elite athletes. They are the most important marketer for many schools. Ohio University and Kentucky didn't need me so I have debt. How many colleges send the states highest paid employee to your living room? Has Nick Saban, a man with at least 8 figures in his bank account, ever done the electric slide with your mom? They want those players. They need those players, and then they artificially cap their value in a way that they don't with anyone else on campus. It's wrong.
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  10. #39
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by improbus View Post
    All of this is fine, but all of your concerns about taxes, non revenue sports, and Title IX are missing the overall point. The system is corrupt, broken, and exploitative. It needs to change. There are a lot of smart people in the university system. They can figure it out. It's like saying that I shouldn't fix my torn knee ligament because I won't be able to jump as high after rehab. My knee still needs fixed. Let's do that first.
    After reading "The King of Sports" by Gregg Easterbrook, I've come to understand how corrupt College Football is, but I think the real problem is the amount of public money that goes into football programs and the effect it has on rising tuition costs. Realistically, what will likely happen if a court rules that athletes should be paid as employees? One thing would be that Congress passes legislation redefining athletes as non-employees or passes somethin akin to an anti-trust exemption that allows the status quo to be maintained. The other is that universities keep college athletics and pay athletes as employees. To help athletic departments with these added costs, alumni donate more money directly to the AD and less to the university's general endowment. To make up the for the money flowing to the AD instead of the general endowment, universities increase the fees paid by students, which in turn leads to non-athlete students having to take out more loans.

    According to Easterbrook, there were only 6 college football programs that didn't receive money from their university's general fund. Even profitable football programs are receiving millions from the general fund in order to keep up with the revenues of other teams in their conference. Most of these programs are at public universities, which means students and taxpayers are subsidizing profitable football programs to the detriment of the students themselves.
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  11. #40
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallen5862 View Post
    This will crush non revenue sports. I was a Swim Team Manager at UNCW in the mid 90's. Only a few athletes in Swimming got scholarships. The majority of the men's and Womens team were walkons. If they are now considered employees the teams will not exist. Last May UNCW tried to cut the now 13 time defending mens CAA conference champions and the 3 time womens CAA conference champion team along with 5 other sports.The chancelor ended up saving the teams after a very successful facebook petion drive. If this new union rule was in effect last May the teams would have been eliminated.
    I sincerely doubt that this legislation will make it to that level of college sports. My guess is that Men's Basketball and Football will lose their "varsity" status and graduate into something different. The world of UNCW swimming shouldn't be affected.

    But, I do think this brings up a larger point. If a school, leadership, alumni, and student body find something to be of value to the school, they will find a way to keep that program (which is exactly what happened here). There are loads of programs (academic, athletic, etc...) at schools that are a net loss to the university. If they find them valuable, they will stay. If not, they will go.
    Variatio delectat - Cicero

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  13. #41
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    Understood, but I would guess that the people of Nebraska would gladly pay a tiny tax to continue subsidizing Nebraska football because they find it to be valuable to them, the same way they do with libraries, parks, and rec centers. Everything has a value.
    Variatio delectat - Cicero

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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    When we talk about the corruption of college sports, I assume we're just talking about football and men's basketball. I've always been of the opinion if the NCAA, the NFL, and the NBA could get together and develop a system like baseball, a lot of these issues would be solved. Develop a true minor league system for NBA and NFL teams and allow high school seniors the option of attending college or entering the pro draft. If they choose to attend college, they have to stay at least three years. This would weed out the athletes who have no interest in attending a university and the athletes who are considered exploited. Of course, the NBA and the NFL have no incentive to do this.
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  15. #43
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    There would be some irony if ESPN killed the goose a bit here. With their mantra to make news and controversy rather than report and show sports - they've been instrumental in forcing the issue. Maybe that's the goal to widdle the field down to 40-50 D1 football programs and the top 100 or so BBall programs - killing the rogue conference channels, specifically the Pac-12 and B1G networks by eliminating a lot of the content provided as 24/7 filler in the non-rev sports?

  16. #44
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    The most interesting part of the Northwestern case is that the judge ruled that college football players are employees. They fulfill all of the categories occupied by employees. Patrick Hruby breaks the ruling down nicely here.

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article...s-can-unionize
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  17. #45
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    Re: Northwestern football players win right to unionize

    Colleges should just do what the rest of the universe does when they don't want to pay people: reclassify the athletes as "interns"
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