We’ve been raised to compete, to want more! More! More! It’s a way of life. It’s about greed.
— Sandy Duncan, actress, singer
And so, the label “amateur” will likely be lifted from college football players very soon. No more is it about earning scholarships, attaining a college education, and working hard at a sport in order to pay for that education. It’s all about greed.
Gimme, gimme, gimme.
The National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling in March declaring football players from Northwestern as “employees” of the university and therefore the right to form a union.
That’s like saying tuba players in the band are employees of the college. Maybe even swimmers, cheerleaders and chess players. After all, they all compete, they all enhance the “sporting” events and they all work hard.
Yes, football players work hard at their sport. But they are not employees! They are students of a college or university who – in most situations – must maintain a particular grade average in order to be granted the privilege to compete.
Now, a mighty foot has wedged into the proverbial door for unions to take over college sports. It may start with football, but don’t think for a minute this won’t spill over to basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling and more, even beyond sports.
For their hard work and training, many football players have earned scholarships at institutions of higher learning, which is worth a lot of money, not only in tuitions but in achieving an education that will prepare them for profitable careers in later life. There’s the reward.
Some outstanding players are often cherry-picked into the big leagues where millions of dollars are bestowed upon them as a pro. That’s another reward for being great at their sport.
But until then, the kids are primarily students. Other than teachers, there is no place in amateur/university sports for unions. Union power will eventually translate in to sport domination, collective bargaining and if they deem necessary, strikes and sit-downs. And it will reach out to all other extra-curriculum activities on campus.
Talk about opening Pandora’s box.
Collective bargaining will translate to higher and higher salaries, which will create the need for new sources of funding. Network television is already established and on board. So where will that come from?
Ticket sales. Vendor costs.
Today’s pro baseball and football, ticket prices have soared out of sight to where the average family can barely afford a day at the ball game, unless they sit in the bleachers over center field or the end zone. The bulk of good seating is reserved for corporations, politicians, and clients of all sizes and shapes of money bags.
Fortunately, prices for attending amateur school games have not hit the stratosphere – yet. But wait until the costs of ball players generate the need for revenue – revenue which the average Joe cannot afford.
Going to college is first and foremost about attaining education. Sports and their associated events are an important element of college life, but it’s not a “profession.” If kids wish to dodge education and go for the big bucks, they can always apply for the pros once out of high school.
Amy Perko, Executive Director of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics said, “Universities and the NCAA, not unions, need to be the ones to guarantee benefits, like multi-year scholarships.”
When it comes to students, regardless of their extra curricula, unions should be kept out of the universities and colleges. To say that students who play sports are an “employee” of the school, is not only absurd, it’s nothing but a money-grubbing ploy to destroy the spirit of school sports now and forever…not only for the kids, but the families and spectators as well.
Amy Perko enunciates many of the benefits that college athletes should be entitled to, outside of being paid “salaries” as an employee. Watch the video: