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A court ruling came across the news wire yesterday that probably didn't catch your attention for too long, but it could have big implications on the way you watch college football and other NCAA sports in the future.

The ruling handed down by the Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board: College athletes now qualify as employees of their university.

According to ESPN:
Quote:
NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr cited the players' time commitment to their sport and the fact that their scholarships were tied directly to their performance on the field as reasons for granting them union rights.

While it's all conjecture at this point, if the ruling is upheld, we could see things such as player strikes or lockouts by entire athletic departments. Or even more extreme -- players receiving additional pay for the success of their team or individual performance. In other words, College Football/NFL-D-League season is just around the corner.

Sound Off: Do you believe college athletes should be recognized as employees of their universities with full labor rights?

Sports Headlines for March 27, 2014

Game: NCAA FootballReader Score: 9/10 - Vote Now
Platform: SportsVotes for game: 3 - View All
Member Comments
# 1 braves_94 @ 03/27/14 01:37 PM
This is crazy. They have no leverage. Labor unions in professional sports work because without them, the league has nothing. The league depends on players for viability. College is a little more complicated. You have a built in base from alumni and students. Players accepted scholarships knowing full well they weren't going to get pay. So what, they're going to strike. Mighty hard to align a labor force when it gets recycled every 4 years. So what will we have left? Look at baseball in it's modern state. 2/3 of all prospects are prep kids from upper to middle class families. The game is drawing better numbers than ever. So who will this ultimately effect, the urban kids. Strike long enough, and the college would probably take back the scholarships. I don't like this move. And I don't see anything good coming out of it. One, players strike and lose their ride. Or for some crazy reason, heads of athletic departments are going to bend to the will of players who will only represent the college for at most 4 years on the field. Then increase prices on everything from tickets, concessions, and parking. Then by paying them, they're also responsible for the liabilities that come with paying players to play football. More expenses will have to be met by higher revenues. Goodbye student section. Goodbye atmosphere.
 
# 2 Junior Moe @ 03/27/14 02:21 PM
I don't think that this is a wise move. Sure, the NCAA is greedy and have exploited the "student-athlete" in a sense. But when you consider the fact that 99% of these kids go on to live in the real world, a 4 year degree and no debt is pretty good. Especially for the impoverished kids from rough areas. An education is the surest way to break that cycle.

The NCAA needs to guarantee at least an academic scholarship. Give the kids a stipend that equals 40 hours a week subsidized by the NCAA with their hundred million dollar tv contracts. That would keep the small schools on an even playing field with the big boys.

Finally, let the kids make a little money off their names. If someone wants to pay Johnny Football 5 grand for an autograph, let them. Give them a small portion of what's left off their jersey sales after the school and apparel company get their cuts. That would give the Tebow's and Clowney's of the world a chance to have a little extra cash for their heroics on the field and it is the free market at work. Most players would receive very little from jersey sales, but at least its something extra. As it stands now, the NCAA is hoarding and controlling all the money. Open it up a little and let these kids get in on it. They have a cash cow right now, don't ruin it by being greedy and tightfisted.
 
# 3 RandyBass @ 03/27/14 02:38 PM
From ESPN article:

"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."

This is going to keep the ruling from from having any teeth.
 
# 4 XXstormmXX @ 03/27/14 05:47 PM
Good for college players but the NCAA will probably just pass a rule saying if you unionize you lose your eligibility. IDK how this could actually work unless all the players did some sort of lockout type protest.
 
# 5 Atax1s @ 03/28/14 01:31 PM
Nobody is discussing an important aspect of college athletes unionizing. Under federal law, their scholarships become taxable. Now maybe for the elite athletes it won't be an issue but for a volleyball player or a lacrosse player these scholarships, which can run well over 20k annually, will carry heavy taxation. The regular student athlete is going to pay for the perks that the top athletes get. This will turn out awfully.
 
# 6 gausec @ 03/28/14 04:09 PM
I feel like this is a good move for players, I'm not saying hey lets pay them a ton of money, but enough to buy some minor stuff, If you ever did college athletics you will know its impossible to balance school, and workouts, you can't get a job. Then you see the NCAA is bringing in all this money, yes I get it you get free schooling but the top atheltes who are the ones bringing the NCAA money don't care about the schooling and delaying there time till they join the league, and also tend to be the ones who come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. However these players are the way the NCAA can give scholarships to other players and other sports. So in summary the system is flawed but needs some sort of change.
 
# 7 Josam27o7 @ 03/29/14 02:14 AM
This is great! College athletes and workers have been pillaged by corporate domination for too long. Unions are an important way for them to gain power against their corporate overloads who know only exploitation of the athlete/worker/environment in the name of profit.

@Glass87
Politely, I have to say you are wrong on this. As other sports and society have shown, the individual is powerless against the corporation without a union. Corporate management can just pick you off one by one and seize the lion's share of the money (college athletes have been dealing with this for too long!) With a union, as baseball players have shown, you can gain power together as a group.

@MMChrisS
I have to take issue with the way you presented part of this story. Why call athletes striking or receiving pay "extreme"? Why don't you call what athletes have to deal with today "extreme"? Be careful with your language as you can mistakenly frame things in an inappropriate manner.
 
# 8 zanner @ 03/31/14 09:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atax1s
Nobody is discussing an important aspect of college athletes unionizing. Under federal law, their scholarships become taxable. Now maybe for the elite athletes it won't be an issue but for a volleyball player or a lacrosse player these scholarships, which can run well over 20k annually, will carry heavy taxation. The regular student athlete is going to pay for the perks that the top athletes get. This will turn out awfully.
I believe Scholarships are taxable now but the burden is negligible when you talking about them being dependents.

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