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NCAA president speaks out against unionization

Emmert AP

Another day, another key college sports figure whose ox will be gored by unionization predictably speaks out against it.

Via Dana O’Neil of ESPN.com, NCAA president Mark Emmert blasted on Sunday the efforts of Northwestern football players to form a union.

“To be perfectly frank, the notion of using a union employee model to address the challenges that do exist in intercollegiate athletics is something that strikes most people as a grossly inappropriate solution to the problems,” Emmert said Sunday.  “It would blow up everything about the collegiate model of athletics.”

(And, of course, blowing up “everything about the collegiate model of athletics” would impact the NFL.  Which is why we mention this dynamic from time to time.)

So how does Emmert know that “most people” view unionized employees as “grossly inappropriate”?  Has he conducted polling?  Has he gone door to door?

It’s a predictable, obvious response by a guy who likes things the way they are and doesn’t want them to change.  Especially if the changes could be sweeping and, ultimately, incredibly expensive for programs making incredible amounts of money.

The good news is that Emmert realizes change of some sort is coming to college sports.

“There’s some things that need to get fixed,” Emmert said.  “They’re working very aggressively to do that.”

With the potential for one school after another to face union votes if/when the very preliminary determination that college football players are “employees” survives inevitable layers of legal challenges, changes will be necessary to keep unions out.  Some think the presence of a union at Northwestern automatically will mean the presence of unions at every other college football program.  It’s a program-by-program effort; and for many (maybe most, maybe all) public universities, unionization may never be an option.

Regardless, the changes made by the NCAA to make unionization less appealing at private universities would benefit players at public universities.  And if the NCAA ultimately gives players the protections and benefits they’d be seeking via unionization, the mission will be accomplished without the actual need for unionization to happen.

That’s really the bottom line here.  Players currently have no real rights and benefits beyond the far-from-retail cost of an education, so they are treated accordingly.  If the NCAA gives the players real rights and benefits, they’ll have no need to unionize.  Which will make the effort to unionize an overwhelming success.

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82 Responses to “NCAA president speaks out against unionization”
  1. floratiotime says: Apr 7, 2014 9:16 AM

    How many millions does this tool make off free labor?

  2. nizzledizzleshizzle says: Apr 7, 2014 9:24 AM

    predictable response from the ncaa. the players should have full health insurance and a cost of living stipend

  3. 100uv says: Apr 7, 2014 9:30 AM

    Downfall, so let it begin!

  4. luz56 says: Apr 7, 2014 9:31 AM

    How about making the free scholarships taxable at the same time?

  5. jimmyt says: Apr 7, 2014 9:31 AM

    A union for NCAA players. Yep that will fix a lot all right.

  6. abninf says: Apr 7, 2014 9:35 AM

    Players have a right to quit school and stop getting a free college education if they wish. Perhaps they would like to be a kid who’s already over 100K in debt they day he graduates. I know class warfare is currently in vogue, but this is stupid.

  7. luz56 says: Apr 7, 2014 9:37 AM

    Addition to previous comment.. Becomes free when you complete a full four years of education…

  8. clowntown1 says: Apr 7, 2014 9:38 AM

    Unions will destroy college athletics just like every other industry the have infected. Unions are antiquated beyond belief.

  9. jlinatl says: Apr 7, 2014 9:48 AM

    I fall into the camp that a free education is payment. I do think there should be a stipend to cover living expenses but have always thought playing should be covered by the Work Study program (or some variation of it).

    With Title 9, I think this opens a very slippery slope. The NCAA has brought this on themselves and will need to adjust quickly, which has never seemed to happen with them.

    The problem is that both sides could drastically harm college athletics overall.

  10. dcviking says: Apr 7, 2014 9:51 AM

    I don’t how understand how anyone thinks this is free labor….one years tuition and room and board at some private institutions is close to (or more than) the median family income of the US.

    I agree the NCAA should probably review its review revenue distribution plans, but its not as simple as “give the football players a stipend”.

  11. anti canadian brigade says: Apr 7, 2014 9:54 AM

    Players already receive a stipend. That stipend is more then I made working part time in college. And I paid for my tuition at a D1 school. Be glad you are getting a free ride. Be thankful that you are not graduating with student loans.

  12. santolonius says: Apr 7, 2014 9:56 AM

    these players deserve a good bit more than they get considering what the schools make off the games. hot shot students in departments not governed by the NCAA get paid in addition to their scholarships. considering what they bring in, athletes deserve to be given as good a deal as the best compensated students on campus. and they certainly should get health insurance and payment of medical bills for team-related injuries for life. if it takes a union to get all that, so be it.

  13. arnoldziffel says: Apr 7, 2014 9:57 AM

    Emmert against players unionizing … well here’s a surprise.

    All the fat wallet guys want to keep the system going just the way it is. Everybody’s making money hand over fist … the coaches, the NCAA, the television networks … the network broadcasters … everybody except the players.

    Even the multitude of sportscasters have something to talk about and write about.

    This wouldn’t even be an issue if over the years, as revenues grew, the NCAA had given players just a tiny little bit of the pie in one form or another.

    Sticking a few more bodies in classrooms doesn’t cost colleges hardly anything.

    This is a multi-billion dollar business … and those that are benefiting can’t seem to figure out how to toss a few more crumbs to the athletes. They want it all.

  14. contract says: Apr 7, 2014 9:58 AM

    Simply eliminate athletic scholarships and make these guys pay their own way through school, and hold them to the exact same standards as other students. That way they are no longer “employees” of the school. If boosters and fans want to give a few star players some money, let them. Student athletes that aren’t good enough to milk boosters for money and low income kids with marginal academic records can go the JUCO route and/or work for UPS.

    Problem solved.

  15. nflofficeadmin says: Apr 7, 2014 9:59 AM

    Let the dead bury the dead.

  16. ace8842 says: Apr 7, 2014 10:00 AM

    A free education is payment. Players shouldn’t get a dime of money.

  17. mvp43 says: Apr 7, 2014 10:02 AM

    I think its too late for the NCAA to lobby for support from fans of college athletics. I know I would be more willing to support the NCAA against unionization if they didn’t have a history of punishing players for such unimportant and petty things, that in the large picture mean nothing.

    The whole “student athlete” thing is complete garbage. They hide behind that while they collect their millions.

  18. division2lbss says: Apr 7, 2014 10:10 AM

    contract says:
    Apr 7, 2014 9:58 AM
    Simply eliminate athletic scholarships and make these guys pay their own way through school, and hold them to the exact same standards as other students. That way they are no longer “employees” of the school. If boosters and fans want to give a few star players some money, let them. Student athletes that aren’t good enough to milk boosters for money and low income kids with marginal academic records can go the JUCO route and/or work for UPS.

    Problem solved.

    __________________

    If you left athletics up to those that could actually afford it you would never watch it again, the NFL and NBA would be abysmal. This is so ridiculous and subtly racist. Though honestly most people in America can’t just out right pay for college. I got a partial scholarship and barely can eat. Cmon man.

  19. wholelottaawesome says: Apr 7, 2014 10:15 AM

    I wonder if union guys will steal from the college players too.

  20. mikea311 says: Apr 7, 2014 10:15 AM

    so can fans unionize too?

  21. steelerdynasty2010 says: Apr 7, 2014 10:24 AM

    you clowns at the NCAA have had YEARS to change/fix the system and have instead decided to do nothing and tell us there’s nothing wrong with it..now that the students have decided to do something about it, you have a problem with their idea. you had ample opportunity to come up with a different idea, you blew it, now watch the kids use that “free” education to your own detriment. better retire now while there’s still something to retire from.

  22. thelastwordyaheard says: Apr 7, 2014 10:25 AM

    a quick spin through Detroit will unveil the union-led future of college sports.. it ain’t pretty

  23. vdogg says: Apr 7, 2014 10:27 AM

    What has been overlooked and basically forgotten in every speech I have heard about this topic is that playing college athletics is a privilege not a right. This whole self-entitled/handout mentality is damaging more than just college athletics….why on earth would this unionization sound like a good idea to anyone?

  24. lombarditrophies says: Apr 7, 2014 10:35 AM

    Annual tuition at Northwestern is probably in the $45k-$50k range. If unionization goes through, free ride scholarships should become taxable income.

    Other side effects: The era of the walk-on and the four-year bench riders is over. The university will not be willing to pay the cost of carrying players that are unlikely to see the field other than on extra points. Under this scheme, Tom Brady would never have made the team at Michigan.

    NCAA football execs are not rolling around the floor naked in a pile of cash. Money made through the football and basketball programs is used in part to fund the women’s volleyball team, and the wresting program, track and field, and dozens of other sports.

    If a player gets cut, is he eligible for unemployment benefits? If he gets injured, is he eligible for worker’s comp? Can a player contest a cut on anti-discrimination grounds?

    Will there be player contracts? Can a university sign a player to a four year contract and prevent his early entry into the NFL?

  25. munny10 says: Apr 7, 2014 10:37 AM

    NCAA – you had ample time to come up with a solution to address the athlete/pay issue, but all you did was count your truckloads of money. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  26. linemanguy74 says: Apr 7, 2014 10:41 AM

    LET US SEE THE BOOKS ON HOW MUCH THE NCCA IS MAKING IN COMPARISON TO WHAT THEY ARE PAYING OUT IN SCHOLARSHIPS BUT YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT FIGURES LIE AND LIERS FIGURE !!

  27. winged warrior says: Apr 7, 2014 10:45 AM

    all schools should go back to just intermural sports . then we’ll see who the real student athletes are , and if the same amount of network money will be given out to televise these new level of events

  28. luz56 says: Apr 7, 2014 10:45 AM

    Isn’t an education about bettering yourself for the future?? Getting a scholarship is a HUGE bonus… Post secondary educations are so unaffordable this becomes a major sticking point to those who are not athletes….

  29. j0esixpack says: Apr 7, 2014 10:46 AM

    I’m shocked!!!

    Look, I’m not pro-union, but when Management is out of control I support unionization as a check and balance

    For the most part I’d say unions – particularly public employee unions – are out of control themselves and need a check and balance on them

    But in the case of the NCAA, despite the claims of “they are paid through their education,” a check and balance is needed

    If the NCAA had heeded years of warnings to restore balance on their own this never would have come to pass

  30. ariani1985 says: Apr 7, 2014 10:50 AM

    Ahhh unions, the fall of America!

  31. tremoluxman says: Apr 7, 2014 10:55 AM

    Solution: Instead of full-ride scholarships to athletes, the NCAA should pay the athlete the equivalent amount in cash payments and give classes for free. Convert all athletic scholarships to purely academic scholarships for other students not interested in athletics in college. Simple.

  32. 1rockyracoon says: Apr 7, 2014 10:55 AM

    Those with power only change when they are forced to. Unionization may not be the perfect answer, but it got the attention of the NCAA. The NCAA needs a dramatic overhaul and asking nicely wouldn’t change a thing.

  33. crubenst says: Apr 7, 2014 10:59 AM

    If the players are smart, they won’t unionize. 95% of all college players aren’t worth much financially and they would constitute the majority of the union. They, I’m sure would ultimately get screwed into compensation worth much less than a full scholarship. The union is being pushed by the top 5% and the agents in their ear so that the top prospects can reap huge rewards. As much money as the ncaa makes, they’re still not going to be able to pay close to what the NFL pays and roster sizes are much larger so its not like each player is going a lot.

  34. crubenst says: Apr 7, 2014 11:01 AM

    I’m sure the union will try to screw their constituency that can’t vote just like the NFL did with incoming draftees. So incoming freshman are pretty much guaranteed to get nothing and now have to pay for their own tuition.

  35. ghostof34 says: Apr 7, 2014 11:12 AM

    vdogg says:
    Apr 7, 2014 10:27 AM

    What has been overlooked and basically forgotten in every speech I have heard about this topic is that playing college athletics is a privilege not a right. This whole self-entitled/handout mentality is damaging more than just college athletics….why on earth would this unionization sound like a good idea to anyone?
    __________________________________
    So when a person takes a scholarship to play a major college sport, or any really they forfeit their individual right to make money off of their own likeness? But the NCAA can? Your argument while ideal in some ways isn’t just about entitlement mentality it’s about the free market as well. Seems to me the NCAA feels entitled to make money off of other people’s likeness and marketability. If a student athlete can market themselves and make money, they should be able to. In fact I’d say the NCAA prevents any entrepreneurial athlete from earning anything off their own hard work, or athletic talent alone. Seems like the NCCA feels entitled to that money and is extremely worried about it’s free money drying up. This is less about unions and ALL ABOUT MONEY. The union rhetoric will be used to incite sentiment and take focus away from what the NCAA is all about…CASH. I don’t think the players need a union in order to have the system fixed, but if the threat of it forces improvements to the system, well that is how business works. Even the NCAA has to change to fit the times, like any other business, evolve or die.

  36. 60oldschool says: Apr 7, 2014 11:12 AM

    I keep hearing from the “your scholarship is you pay” side and if you join the union were going to tax you on it. Fine, tax me. oh by the way it’s $100,000 now for me to sign. Tax me on the hole thing. I’m still be way head. Let’s see 80 scholarships @ $100,000 a year = 8 million a year in “labor costs” hum………. I wonder how much the NCAA/Schools are making on tickets sales, T. V. sponsorships, advertising, etc.

  37. qwerty007qwerty007 says: Apr 7, 2014 11:16 AM

    thelastwordyaheard says:
    Apr 7, 2014 10:25 AM
    a quick spin through Detroit will unveil the union-led future of college sports.. it ain’t pretty

    ————————————–

    Right! Because poor management and greed had nothing to do with the downfall of the auto industry – just those damn unionized guys on the line that screwed it all up, right?

  38. v2787 says: Apr 7, 2014 11:17 AM

    Of course Mark Emmert is against unionization. It would kill the goose that lays his golden egg. He’s gonna fight like hell to maintain his little fiefdom rather than do the right thing and support helping the college athletes (who are actually the ones bringing in all the money that’s lining Emmert’s pockets).

  39. alonestartexan says: Apr 7, 2014 11:19 AM

    If players start getting paid, big schools like Texas, Miami, and USC will start paying ridiculous salaries and smaller schools will no longer be able to compete for top talent.

    Or, some schools will lose their programs altogether.

    What a country we live in!

  40. bsizemore68 says: Apr 7, 2014 11:21 AM

    1rockyracoon….you hit the nail on the head, most are talking about there political thinking, that won’t work with this issue, the issue is about control of the money, why not help the student a little bit, they have no life out side of the class room and the team that they are on, if treated a little better there would be no push for an union. Bill

  41. bleedgreen says: Apr 7, 2014 11:25 AM

    ace8842 says:
    Apr 7, 2014 10:00 AM
    A free education is payment. Players shouldn’t get a dime of money
    —————————–

    I agree, but they also shouldn’t be prevented/punished/sanctioned for getting money from other places. How are you going to tell a kid he can’t get a part time job? If someone wants to ‘hire them’ and pay them to not work, thats their own prerogative. Maybe cap the amount they’re allowed to earn at say, $25K a year or something like that, but yeah. You can’t say NO WE WON’T PAY YOU and then also say NO YOU CAN’T EARN MONEY ELSEWHERE EITHER!

  42. remyje says: Apr 7, 2014 11:27 AM

    are kids at private high schools, who get recruited for sports, going to start wanting a check too??????

  43. flaccoishermanmunster says: Apr 7, 2014 11:30 AM

    steel mills, auto industry, professional sports, now college. unions are the downfall of our great country

  44. kd75 says: Apr 7, 2014 11:33 AM

    Isn’t being broke in college a right of passage?

    Living on pizza and $3 six packs of Natural Light…

  45. swampcannons says: Apr 7, 2014 11:33 AM

    Cost of living stipend makes sense as they don’t have time for a job with the hrs put on the field and studies. Health care as well since they are putting their bodies on the line. That is only fair while so many are making millions from the current system. I’m definitely opposed to the union idea but some of you need to read a history book. Unions don’t solve the world’s problems but our work schedule would be entirely different without their contribution, and not for the better.

  46. yooperman says: Apr 7, 2014 11:39 AM

    thelastwordyaheard says: Apr 7, 2014 10:25 AM

    a quick spin through Detroit will unveil the union-led future of college sports.. it ain’t pretty

    The union workers in Detroit didn’t ruin Detroit. They made good enough wages to move to the nicer suburbs. Even Ralph Wilson, billionaire owner of the Bills, lived in Detroit suburb, just 10 minutes from downtown Detroit.

  47. jm91rs says: Apr 7, 2014 11:39 AM

    College sports will be ruined if this goes where it seems to be headed. There will be 10-15 major programs. The better you are, the more money your team will make, the more money you’ll have to pay your players. The lower tier teams will lose so much money they won’t bother fielding teams.

    The NCAA is making a big mistake if they don’t cut this off now by giving the players a guaranteed 4 years of complete health insurance and a cost of living stipend of maybe $500 per week of the season. The big catch is that all players have to make the same or it will never work for the smaller schools.

  48. rdrs68 says: Apr 7, 2014 11:46 AM

    Unions don’t just happen-there are usually plenty of reasons and unresolved issues that lead to the formation of a labor union so maybe these clowns ought to wake up and figure a few things out and make some changes if they don’t want to deal with a powerful and disruptive force.

  49. hobiecat1 says: Apr 7, 2014 11:50 AM

    On top of a free education…What value do you place on four years of coaching, game experience, weight training, nutritional benefits, and personal trainers?

    What value are you placing on the exposure they receive from being on the field…allowing them to be drafted by a professional sports team? Where else can they grow and display their talents.

    Those talented players looking to pursue a career in the NFL aren’t having to pay for their college education, as well as, not having to pay for that somewhat priceless “sports education” that they are receiving free from the universities and the NCAA.

  50. cocarb says: Apr 7, 2014 11:52 AM

    All of these discussions lose sight of what the players are fighting for, they have undertaken the effort to unionize not to get paid more but to get a voice with the NCAA who currently holds all chips. The players want more rights and security. Most don’t know that scholarships are not for 4 or 5 years but are renewable annually. I had multiple friends leave college because their family couldn’t afford the tuition after their scholarships were not renewed because they either got hurt or didn’t start. If a athlete is going to give up many rights they should get a commitment that their scholarship will be for at least 4 years. The biggest concern for universities is not the cost of paying players but paying workmans comp or long term medical expenses which could be a massive liability. Today if a player is hurt they get medical care under their families plan not a university plan and no long term care for what could long term injuries. So if you get hurt the school has no responsibility for you once you step off the field. I think if the universities would agree to long term scholarships and medical benefits most of this would go away.

  51. holla2626 says: Apr 7, 2014 11:53 AM

    “The NCAA is making a big mistake if they don’t cut this off now by giving the players a guaranteed 4 years of complete health insurance and a cost of living stipend of maybe $500 per week of the season. ”

    Don’t they already have this?

  52. wtfchiefs says: Apr 7, 2014 11:56 AM

    If the president of the NCAA doesn’t like an idea, chances are high that idea is a good one

  53. imthaschmidt says: Apr 7, 2014 12:01 PM

    This is actually pretty simple to figure out..

    If players want to be treated as employees then what i suggest is:

    Players sign 4 year contracts for the school getting between 15-20,000 dollars per year. If said player decides to leave early for the NFL/NBA/Pro’s then he must pay back the money he received in college, breaking the 4 year contract they originally signed. this is a win win on both sides. The kids that want to leave know they will have to pay back the money,and will be able to afford with the shiny new contract from the pros, and the others that don’t leave will get compensated for their time.

    This does not cover the health insurance part of it but my thoughts are that they should only be covered for as long as they are at that university. Now days you know the risk of playing football and if you still choose to sign the contract then you take all risk. if you don’t like it then don’t play college football.

  54. noahbird says: Apr 7, 2014 12:02 PM

    Obviouslly, he will lose a chunk of change by actually paying health benefits to college athletes.

  55. rascalmanny says: Apr 7, 2014 12:04 PM

    Take away the scholarships, let them pay for the education like the rest of us.

  56. anti canadian brigade says: Apr 7, 2014 12:04 PM

    Do people realize that that 99.9% of student athletes don’t make a dime for the university.

  57. eagleswin says: Apr 7, 2014 12:11 PM

    noahbird says:
    Apr 7, 2014 12:02 PM
    Obviouslly, he will lose a chunk of change by actually paying health benefits to college athletes.

    ———————————–

    No he won’t because they actually do pay health benefits now while the players are enrolled in school and playing for the team.

    The players want long term health benefits. Pretty much the same as the NFL players where they pay for your health care long after you leave school.

  58. scarletmacaw says: Apr 7, 2014 12:14 PM

    The UK basketball coach just got $150,000 for his team winning their final four game.

    The players got … NOTHING.

    Something needs to change here.

  59. holla2626 says: Apr 7, 2014 12:17 PM

    The vast majority have health benefits covered.

  60. ghostof34 says: Apr 7, 2014 12:18 PM

    mthaschmidt says:
    Apr 7, 2014 12:01 PM

    This is actually pretty simple to figure out..

    If players want to be treated as employees then what i suggest is:

    Players sign 4 year contracts for the school getting between 15-20,000 dollars per year. If said player decides to leave early for the NFL/NBA/Pro’s then he must pay back the money he received in college, breaking the 4 year contract they originally signed. this is a win win on both sides. The kids that want to leave know they will have to pay back the money,and will be able to afford with the shiny new contract from the pros, and the others that don’t leave will get compensated for their time.

    This does not cover the health insurance part of it but my thoughts are that they should only be covered for as long as they are at that university. Now days you know the risk of playing football and if you still choose to sign the contract then you take all risk. if you don’t like it then don’t play college football.
    _________________________________
    Wrong. First off the NCAA is the free minor leagues for the NFL. So a university has a kid for 3 years before he’s eligible for the NFL draft…that money has been paid back with time served with all the work in season, on and off the field, as well as off season work.
    And frankly if a kid enters the NBA draft after a year in school, he is a top prospect and has already made the university more than the 15-20k you describe in jersey/ticket and any other sales of his name or likeness. So you first premise is off, by a lot. It’s not simple if you think realistically about it. You have to look at the money, and the big picture. Your solution is way too small picture.

  61. holla2626 says: Apr 7, 2014 12:19 PM

    Did the UK players get a chance to showcase their talents on national TV? Did they get room, board and 3 square meals? Are they getting an education? Are they getting coached by one of the greatest all time for free? Did they have to play in the game – why would they play if they got nothing?

  62. badmoonrison says: Apr 7, 2014 12:30 PM

    Does anyone realize how much money these schools make via advertising, merchansizing and huge donations from alumni. These schools are making money hand over fist. The players should have every right to vote on a union. If they dont get the votes then so be it. But they should be given the chance.

  63. steelfan1 says: Apr 7, 2014 12:42 PM

    It is interesting that some of the people posting on this article don’t understand what “free” means.

    So many people have referred to college athletes as people who receive a free education. In the concept of someone giving you something for free, the recipient doesn’t have to give anything back, hence the word “free”. Anyone who know the day to day or what these college athletes go through, will understand what these kids give to the school in return for their tuition being comped.

    I work in the real world, and i understand that my hard work will gain me a certain salary. so i can understand the plight of these college athletes. They get their tuition comped but they are surrounded by their million dollar head coaches, forced to hang out with million dollar booster, while most of these kids come from middle to low income families. They want a piece of the pie and i don’t blame them.

    Now the NCAA can keep their head in the sand and watch the modern college athlete fight them back, or they can start compensating their student athletes better.

  64. dook517 says: Apr 7, 2014 12:45 PM

    Eliminate college athletics altogether and just set up private farm/minor leagues for all sports. Then let the player/employees unionize all they want. The schools can then negotiate for tv and licensing rights directly with the newly formed minor leagues. If a player wants an education, he or she can go to night school or take classes in the summer and pay their own way.

  65. FoozieGrooler says: Apr 7, 2014 12:54 PM

    To all the anti-union shills whose opinions are spoon fed to them via Faux News:

    The birth of the organized labor movement in this country also brought with it, the birth of the Middle Class. Both are disappearing, in nearly exact proportions. This is no coincidence.

    Do you like owning a home? Having food on the table? Being able to provide for your kids and maybe even send them to college?
    How about your 40-hour weeks, overtime pay, health benefits, a retirement plan, weekends, holiday & sick pay?
    Where do you think those came from?

    Once the corporate minded, profit driven entities that really run this country succeed in brainwashing enough minions and unions disappear, We’ll return to the days of the “haves” and “have-nots” (as if you can’t see that happening now…)

    Of course, anyone with an ounce of knowledge about this country’s labor history already knows this.

    Once that happens, enjoy paying rent in your company owned slum and working as a Walmart greeter until you die.

  66. trollhammer20 says: Apr 7, 2014 12:59 PM

    The “fixes” that the NCAA offers need to be much, much better than the “fix” to the lack of a true national championship tournament.

    Every year, the “lower division” has such a tournament, but they keep making excuses for not having a real 16 team playoff in the biggest, most visible, popular division of NCAA football.

    The first “fix” was a BCS title game that solved exactly nothing. The second “fix” is a four-game tournament that is barely any better.

    They will cling to the bowl system and their current exploitation of young athletes until the entire thing burns to the ground. At which point something better may arise from the ashes. Or so one can hope.

  67. vmari86 says: Apr 7, 2014 1:03 PM

    If he doesn’t like it, it must be good for the athletes.

  68. steelerdynasty2010 says: Apr 7, 2014 1:09 PM

    can we stop talking about the benefits that come from being a scholarship athlete like all they have to do is show up on campus and everything’s there. it’s not a guaranteed contract and can get pulled at any time. those players EARN those scholarships. it was their athletic prowess that EARNED it in the first place, and the same prowess (and time) are REQUIRED to retain the scholarship. fact is that most of those benefits people think are exclusive to athletes really arent. for instance, tutoring is available to EVERY student, not just athletes. you just have to ask.The athletes and athletic depts have more invested in making sure the athletes get tutoring so they’re more proactive in making sure they get it. Someone mentioned athletic training, nutrition, coaching, etc as a benefit. ever heard of an athletic dept? ALL those things are an email away. You could even stumble upon someone at the keg on a given weekend who majors in sports _____ and they’d be happy to help with all that!
    Profs dont care where their salary money comes from and they teach ALL the students in class at the same time. The athletes get out of class the same thing any other student gets out…EXACTLY what they put in. if they just show up and dont try to learn, they’ll eventually fail out..scholarship or not…so no, the scholarship itself doesnt provide them an education, it simply pays for it.

  69. nellie9erfan says: Apr 7, 2014 1:10 PM

    The argument that they receive an education as payment is not exactly valid in all cases of this debate. You must consider the other rules that the NCAA have created for the players.

    Players are not allowed to have endorsement deals, sell anything related to their ability to perform on the field including their likeness or signature. As long as they are a member of the that team, their image and any success related to it is owned by the school they play for. The school can make money off of them, but the player cannot.

    Not all of the players on these teams have the type of scholarships you are talking about. There aren’t enough per school to give out a whole team worth of full rides with room and board. Not to mention, most people would still need some sort of part time work for incidentals or just wanting to be able to buy things outside of necessity.

    To take away their best ability to earn a living on the side while attending college is like telling other students that they cannot get a job as an intern or with a business that has anything to do with their field of study because they would then be considered a professional and not a student.

    And let’s not forget, if a player is seriously injured, they are dropped, their scholarship is gone, and they have no way of paying for the rest of their education.

  70. theuglitruth says: Apr 7, 2014 1:11 PM

    While I’m not a fan of unions….if unionizing is what it takes to get the NCAA spooked…then I support it! Clearly, nothing else has worked to change an antiquated system the NCAA refuses to address.

  71. holla2626 says: Apr 7, 2014 1:22 PM

    Next up – High Schools. Why should the kids go to practice every day and sacrifice Friday nights for no pay and no health insurance? They don’t even get free food and some even have to buy their own equipment. Oh the humanity!

  72. rajbais says: Apr 7, 2014 1:24 PM

    Unionizing to gain protections (medical???) because college football creates lingering defects for the body and one’s life is the morally right thing to do.

    Being a fraud and having a history of admitting ineptitude (ie the Miami case) makes you unqualified to be employed.

    If USA Today exposes this person for falsifying academic records of LSU athletes during his tenure there he should be fired.

    Emmert is unintelligent and the deprivation he’s created for athletes makes him a bad man. I can’t respect him. This guy has no right to be employed by the NCAA.

  73. ivanpavlov0000 says: Apr 7, 2014 1:36 PM

    Someone in management disliking the idea of union that would give labor equal power? Gee, what a shock!!! (not)

    Of course they should unionize. And we should stop pretending that Division I college football and basketball aren’t big business.

  74. micknangold says: Apr 7, 2014 1:39 PM

    Anybody who isn’t on scholarship isn’t missing out on any money from not having endorsement deals.

    How many people want your average walk-ons autograph, or to buy a t-shirt with his name on it? Sure, some guys walk-on and become stars, but they’re few and far between. For every Aeneas Williams, Kevin Greene, Darren Woodson, and JJ Watt there’s thousands of Joe Schmos who are never in a position to cash in on their brand in the first place. Even those guys weren’t big names until after they got to the NFL, so they really didn’t miss out on much endorsement money either.

    Anybody who is on scholarship is getting their education paid for. So, nobody should be getting paid. If the schools weren’t making huge money off their “free labor” they couldn’t afford to give out the scholarships in the first place. I sympathize with guys who get their scholarships yanked after getting hurt and can’t afford to go to school anymore, but those credits can transfer somewhere they could.

    TL;DR – No one should be getting paid to play college sports. It sucks for guys who get hurt, but they can always transfer.

  75. mtrhead269 says: Apr 7, 2014 1:47 PM

    The they get a free eductation arugment seems valid, however Universities award Academic Scholarships with the individuals having to leave body parts on the playing field without any compensation.

    I assume Mr. Emmert does not have a family member suffering from the effects of PCS and the devasating effects his has on the family.

    Post football medical expenses as I have learned first hand can and are extremely expensive.

    The current players need to look out for themselves , because no one else will.

    Without the NFLPA the NFL players would still be playing for a small percentage of the income that the NFL generates.

    Tex Schramm was right. The owners are the ranch, the players the cattle.

  76. rajbais says: Apr 7, 2014 2:29 PM

    Anyone who says a scholarship is enough is a bigger jerk than a financially paid student athlete is.

    Think about this:

    You’re recruited, but broke before going to school.

    $0 (pre-NCAA income) + ($50,000 for “getting paid to go to school”) – ($50,000 for seeing what you got “paid” ending up in tuition) + Back Problems + Bogus Degree because of academic illegitimacy and the need to just keep you eligible + Knee issues + Hand structure Damage = Broke off your ass (aka $0) + Back Problems + Bogus Degree because of academic illegitimacy and the need to just keep you eligible + Knee issues + Hand structure Damage.

    A scholarship leading to degrees that can’t get you good jobs can’t cure your pain.

    Plus, why hasn’t NY Times Op-Ed columnist Joe Nocera been rebutted successfully by these scholarship-only proponents?

    I thought people loved the “30 for 30″ film “Broke”. Nocera was in it talking about what they’re pushed into and why they become uneducated to where they’re worse after playing.

    I know why. Nocera is smarter than they are and not a jerk. Being a jerk makes you inconsiderate and uninformed.

    If you are not a jerk, research player issues, and see their pains and circumstances you will be more educated and a better person.

  77. CKL says: Apr 7, 2014 3:35 PM

    Health care? You can now be on your parents’ insurance until you are 26.

  78. holla2626 says: Apr 7, 2014 3:41 PM

    rajbais – why does anyone play then? Why does a D3 guy with 0 shot to ever play in the NFL play? Why do girls play volleyball? Seriously, you make it sound so terrible to be a player that the supply of willing players should be almost nothing. Yet, there are more potential players than ever? Think logically. You are given an opportunity – if you blow it with poor grades or a poor major choice – how is that the school’s fault?

  79. holla2626 says: Apr 7, 2014 3:46 PM

    Nocera got crushed. BTW – hos wife works for the law firm suing the NCAA. No bias there

  80. realitycheckbaby says: Apr 7, 2014 3:56 PM

    Hey Mascara Mark, no one cares what you think.

  81. thelastwordyaheard says: Apr 7, 2014 4:38 PM

    your favorite school will soon be doing what every other viable business has done over the last 50yrs; assembling teams of Chinese nationals to take the place of the union whiners ..if only they were better athletes

  82. micknangold says: Apr 7, 2014 10:12 PM

    I guess being in law school isn’t educated enough for Mr. College Football Advocate over here.

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