Pig skin pact shouldn’t include unions

The Southerner

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

By Conrad Newton

College football is maybe the greatest thing ever. It’s Americas second-most most watched sporting event behind the National Football League. Whether you’re with friends and family in your den or you’re in your local bar, watching college football is something that defines what it means to be an American. I would almost want to call it perfect, but sadly just like everything, college football has its fair share of problems.

College football has faced corruption on an unprecedented scale. Whether it was players selling memorabilia like the Ohio State incident in 2011, or recruiting violations like SMU in 1986 when they received the death penalty from the NCAA.  The NCAA itself and the universities are a major point of controversy for making millions on “amateur” sporting events.

In recent months there has been a lot of controversy over the idea of unionizing college sports and that college football players are no longer considered student athletes but employees of their universities. This all sparked when Northwestern players petitioned to National Labor relations board and they found that college football players can form unions. Northwestern University disagrees this finding and will go to court over this.

What this means for the future of college football is disputed, but I can assure you it is nothing good. I agree that the current system is not perfect. In fact it’s far from it. That does not mean we should throw out the collegiate model of athletics. The way we are going about change is all wrong.

I think a reasonable reform can be found that satisfies all sides of this debate. Athletes could also be given better healthcare. Another interesting solution is that universities could provide students with a stipend. This pays the student for the work they do at the school. It would cover the tuition but the students wouldn’t actually ever receive the money.

These are all better solutions then the idea of unions and students as employees. Players should realize without the university they are nothing. Jadaveon Clowney is a star defensive end for South Carolina and is projected to go first round in the upcoming NFL draft. If Jadaveon Clowney played for some scrub team like East Carolina then he wouldn’t receive all the hype. Therefore, they wouldn’t have nearly as much attention anyways.

Unions in college football have one serious flaw. The National Labor Relations Act is what allows citizens to be represented by a union. This act does not cover government employees. With the majority of the leading college football teams being public institutions this could not legally apply.

When it comes down to it these players are students and should be treated as such. It’s their choice to play and if money is their main objective then they should play pro. College football isn’t perfect and definitely needs reform which will no doubt come in time. Unions for college football would be the beginning of the end.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email