NLRB rules college players can unionize

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NLRB rules college players can unionize

Postby welch » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:39 pm

CHICAGO — In a decision that has the potential to fundamentally reshape the N.C.A.A. and college athletics, the National Labor Relations Board regional director Peter Ohr sided with a group of Northwestern football players Wednesday, calling them employees who have the right to collectively bargain.

In a 24-page decision, Ohr wrote that Northwestern is an employer and all of its scholarship football players are eligible to unionize.

In January, Northwestern players filed a petition to the regional office of the N.L.R.B. seeking representation by the newly formed College Athletes Players Association. Last month, lawyers for the labor organization and Northwestern argued the question of whether the players were employee or just students in a hearing that spanned three weeks.

A Northwestern spokesman, Alan K. Cubbage, said in a statement that the university was “disappointed” in the decision and that it would appeal it to the full N.L.R.B. in Washington.

<snip>


Breaking story at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/27/sport ... ze.html?hp

Seems a good decision. Three examples:

- Cousin of a friend was recruited to Boston College to play QB after Doug Flutie graduated. Cousin was also a tough, but small, DB: only about 170 pounds, he was one of the few kids in the county willing to tackle "Ironhead" Heyward, who was about 260. In his junior year (?), he had a bone broken in his back when a teammate speared him jumping onto a goal-line pile-up. Boston College expected him to give up his scholarship and vanish. BC was furious when the cousin insisted on going to class and graduating.

- When the sports-entertainment talkers began to repeat that "we" needed a national championship system for college football, Russell Maryland, who was at the University of Miami, reminded a reporter that teams would play an extra game or even two but no player was getting paid. The TV networks and the schools would make money, but the players were taking a risk of getting injured.

- When Johnny Manzel made money by signing autographs last summer, the NCAA clobbered him. A year or two ago, the University of Missouri sold game-worn jerseys at the end of a season, and kept the money. The players had made the jerseys worth something, but they got no money.

If colleges won't pay players, then there should be no Spring football -- let them be students, and let them be eligible for the NFL draft. Just like baseball players.

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Re: NLRB rules college players can unionize

Postby DarthMonk » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:33 pm

So I talk to people at work who, for the last several years, have said things like "No way college football players should be paid. They are already compensated with scholarships worth, in many cases, well over $100,000."

Now that a regional director of the NLRB has ruled that scholarships, etc. constitute employment compensation, these same people don't like the ruling.

:hmm:

BTW - scholarships are typically one year contracts and players (employees) can be let go (fired).

In an another BTW, the ruling pertains to 17 schools - the private ones with D1 football teams. Seems like a pretty straightforward application of the Wagner Act to me.

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Re: NLRB rules college players can unionize

Postby welch » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:09 pm

My first thought: if the schools make it difficult for these kids to be students -- long practices, almost year-round -- then the scholarships cannot be worth $100,000 a year, and $100K is high even for private schools, like Northwestern. More like $60K.

Either pay college football players or let them be full-time students one semester per year. Otherwise, they cannot use the scholarship. Their total compensation is that they get coaching. Since few college players manage even one full, paid, season in the NFL then the coaching is not worth much. They cannot study and they have no future as professional football players.

"EVANSTON, Ill. --- Undergraduate tuition at Northwestern University will increase 4 percent to $45,120 for the 2013-2014 academic year from the current year’s $43,380, University officials announced today.

Room and board rates will increase 4 percent to $13,862 from $13,329 for an undergraduate student living in a double room with a full meal plan option. Approximately 4,100 of Northwestern’s 8,400 undergraduate students live in University residence halls.

Total undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board at Northwestern will increase 4 percent to $59,389 in 2013-2014 from the current year’s $57,108."


from http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/ ... costs.html

[Note on new board: would have been harder to quote using the old board software.]

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Re: NLRB rules college players can unionize

Postby Chris Luva Luva » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:40 pm

The only difference between college sports and pro is that the players aren't paid. They're making billions off of the players, the coaches are making millions... I think back in the day it was apparent you were watching amateur sports but that's no longer the case.
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Re: NLRB rules college players can unionize

Postby DarthMonk » Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:12 pm

welch wrote:My first thought: if the schools make it difficult for these kids to be students -- long practices, almost year-round -- then the scholarships cannot be worth $100,000 a year, and $100K is high even for private schools, like Northwestern. More like $60K.

Either pay college football players or let them be full-time students one semester per year. Otherwise, they cannot use the scholarship. Their total compensation is that they get coaching. Since few college players manage even one full, paid, season in the NFL then the coaching is not worth much. They cannot study and they have no future as professional football players.

"EVANSTON, Ill. --- Undergraduate tuition at Northwestern University will increase 4 percent to $45,120 for the 2013-2014 academic year from the current year’s $43,380, University officials announced today.

Room and board rates will increase 4 percent to $13,862 from $13,329 for an undergraduate student living in a double room with a full meal plan option. Approximately 4,100 of Northwestern’s 8,400 undergraduate students live in University residence halls.

Total undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board at Northwestern will increase 4 percent to $59,389 in 2013-2014 from the current year’s $57,108."


from http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/ ... costs.html

[Note on new board: would have been harder to quote using the old board software.]


Just to clarify: I was speaking of people with whom I work who said that scholarships, etc. are often worth well over $100,000. Using the example Welch cited for Northwestern in particular, after four years the scholarship is worth nearly a quarter of $1 million when you add in all the other stuff besides simply the cost of tuition. I think this was a pretty easy call for the regional director when he heard this case.

My real point was this: the same people who said these guys were already getting paid by virtue of having a scholarship are now ticked off that they've been deemed paid employees. I find that to be fairly ironic.
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