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College football athletes seek to gain union status for first time ever

This news story was published on January 28, 2014.
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CHICAGO – The College Athletes Player Association (CAPA) has submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board to assert the labor rights of Northwestern University football players. If successful, athletes across the nation could eventually establish a national players association that will fight what the organization calls “unjust NCAA rules”.

According to CAPA, in its continued support for college athletes’ rights, the United Steelworkers has agreed to provide CAPA with resources necessary to pursue this course of action by paying the legal team that will be representing CAPA before the National Labor Relations Board to prove that the National Labor Relations Act covers college athletes.

“We’re asking for a seat at the table to get our voice heard,” Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter said Tuesday via social media.  He met with his head coach, Pat Fitzgerald, Tuesday morning, to explain his pursuit of greater rights for college football athletes.

CAPA says it will ultimately allow players to collectively bargain for comprehensive reform. Some of the goals CAPA lists on it website are:

– Guaranteed coverage for sports-related medical expenses for current and former players.
– Minimizing the risk of sports-related traumatic brain injury. Reduce contact in practices like the NFL and Pop Warner have done, place independent concussion experts on the sidelines, and establish uniform return to play protocols.
– Improving graduation rates. Establish an educational trust fund to help former players complete their degree and reward those who graduate on time.
– Consistent with evolving NCAA regulations or future legal mandates, increasing athletic scholarships and allowing players to receive compensation for commercial sponsorships.
– Securing due process rights. Players should not be punished simply because they are accused of a rule violation, and any punishments levied should be consistent across campuses.
– CAPA will give college athletes a seat at the table to secure much needed protections.

ESPN reported that The NCAA, in a statement from Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy on Tuesday, said “student-athletes are not employees within any definition of the National Labor Relations Act” and that there is no existing employment relationships between the “NCAA, its affiliated institutions or student-athletes. This union-backed attempt to turn student-athletes into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education. Student-athletes are not employees, and their participation in college sports is voluntary. We stand for all student-athletes, not just those the unions want to professionalize.”

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13 Responses to College football athletes seek to gain union status for first time ever

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 31, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Law steward best idea yet

  2. Avatar

    Lawsteward Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    …I think I might have a plan to take care of all these issues concerning college players and athlethes. To solve all the issues concerning health and sports injuries…we eliminate all college athletics. And as to solving financial inequities for college athletes…we have them pay for their schooling like we make non-athletes do! There…all fixed!

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      January 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      @Lawsteward-You are correct. That is exactly what could happen especially with the smaller schools. They will just eliminate contact sports and then they will all go back to the ghetto.

      • Avatar

        Ben Reply Report comment

        February 2, 2014 at 1:11 am

        Wow LVS,
        Usually I agree with most things you post but when you use the word ghetto in the context that you did I imagine an older gentleman from the south drinking a Grainbelt beer on his porch with the Confederate Flag sticker on the back window of his truck right in front of the green curtains. I sure hope I am wrong and you really aren’t one of those.

  3. Avatar

    bodacious Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    One aspect of this that needs to be addressed is allowing college athletes to receive compensation for commercial sponsorships. There would have to be guidelines concerning wearing university apparel or using the school’s trademarks in the commercial but that could be easily legislated. Sad but true’s generalization that they receive a $100,000 education and a shot at the pros is short-sighted and inane. Most athletes don’t get a full ride, less than 1% will ever gain from their athletic abilities. And this is not just about football players. It is about all athletes in all collegiate sports, men and women.

  4. Avatar

    sad but true Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I would think a 100.000 education, and a chance at millions after graduation would be enough

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      January 29, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      @sad-yes, and most of them get it free because they voted for Obama.

  5. Avatar

    Philosophus Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Sounds like the NCAA is worried someone may try and nibble at those obscene profits school sports programs make, or affect their disproportional budgeting in any way.

  6. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2014 at 9:17 am

    This is pure BULL. These kids are not employees and playing football is voluntary. The schools will just quit football.

    • Avatar

      Philosophus Reply Report comment

      January 29, 2014 at 9:32 am

      LVS, how’d you get to be such an Uncle Tom for the rich and powerful?

      • Avatar

        LVS Reply Report comment

        January 29, 2014 at 10:19 am

        @Philly-How did you become such a socialist, communist idiot? If they don’t want to get hurt, don’t play the game. It is just another part of the entitlement society that you are such a part of. Go back into retirement. No one wants to hear your lies.

        • Avatar

          Philosophus Reply Report comment

          January 29, 2014 at 1:09 pm

          People play this game because they have to, not because they want to. My plan nets more independent security and dignity than this one. You call it whatever your warped Tom mind will. When people are ready, they’ll begin taking the steps. For now, they are still trapped. My workshops and lectures will begin in spring.

          • Avatar


            January 29, 2014 at 3:01 pm

            @Phillywhy would anyone want to attend a liars workshop. Possibly you could do a Sun Dance on the side. That would be a real draw.