1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Northwestern Football Players To Unionize

Discussion in 'Football: NFL, College, High School' started by CometsWin, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    28,028
    Likes Received:
    13,012
    The fat cat university presidents just had a panic attack.

    Kain Colter starts union movement

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_...cats-football-players-trying-join-labor-union

    For the first time in the history of college sports, athletes are asking to be represented by a labor union, taking formal steps on Tuesday to begin the process of being recognized as employees, ESPN's "Outside The Lines" has learned.

    Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of football players at Northwestern University, submitting the form at the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board.

    Backed by the United Steelworkers union, Huma also filed union cards signed by an undisclosed number of Northwestern players with the NLRB -- the federal statutory body that recognizes groups that seek collective bargaining rights.

    "This is about finally giving college athletes a seat at the table," said Huma, a former UCLA linebacker, who created the NCPA as an advocacy group in 2001. "Athletes deserve an equal voice when it comes to their physical, academic and financial protections."

    Huma told "Outside The Lines" that the move to unionize players at Northwestern started with quarterback Kain Colter, who reached out to him last spring and asked for help in giving athletes representation in their effort to improve the conditions under which they play NCAA sports. Colter became a leading voice in regular NCPA-organized conference calls among players from around the country.

    In a Sept. 21 game against Maine, Colter wore a black wristband with the hashtag "#APU" -- All Players United -- prominently scrawled in white marker as part of a quiet protest gesture. He was joined that day by about 10 teammates as well as players from Georgia and Georgia Tech. In all, players on seven teams in the five largest conferences displayed the #APU symbol, according to the NCPA.

    Huma said he met with Northwestern players over the weekend on campus in Evanston, Ill., and took the next step in creating a collective voice for players. He said Colter introduced him to groups of players that Colter had talked with over the past couple of months about their interest in taking the unprecedented step of asking for union representation.

    To have the NLRB consider a petition to be unionized, at least 30 percent of the members of a group serving an employer must sign union cards.

    Huma declined to say how many Northwestern players signed cards other than the number was "overwhelming majority." To get to 30 percent, at least 26 of the 85 scholarship players had to sign.

    The formal entity that would represent the players, if certified by the NLRB, is called the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA). It was created by Huma, Colter and Luke Bonner, a former U-Mass basketball player and brother of NBA player Matt Bonner, with technical support from the United Steelworkers, who will not receive union dues from players, said Huma, who is registered as president of the organization.

    "When Ramogi first reached out to us years ago, we were like an overwhelming part of the population in that we figured athletes were lucky because they're getting an education," United Steelworkers president Leo Gerard said Tuesday. "But then we looked into it and realized it's a myth. Many don't get a true education and their scholarships aren't guaranteed."

    The group has called a news conference at 11:30 a.m. CST on Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Chicago where Kolter, Huma, Gerard and the union's national political director Tim Waters, the NCPA's liaison within the union, will speak.

    "The NCAA is a train wreck waiting to happen," Waters said. "What brought them to this moment is they couldn't control their greed. They put all this money in the system."

    Spokesmen for Northwestern, the Big Ten Conference and NCAA were not immediately available for comment.

    Huma said the goals of the CAPA is the same as the NCPA. The group has pressed for better concussion and other medical protections, and for scholarships to cover the full cost of attendance.

    Having already successfully advocated for the creation of multi-year scholarships, it now would like those scholarships to be guaranteed even if a player is no longer able to continue for injury or medical reasons. The group has also called for a trust fund that players could tap into after their NCAA eligibility expires to finish schooling or be rewarded for finishing schooling.

    The NCPA has lobbied state legislatures, Congress and the NCAA on these issues over the years, and earlier this month hired airplanes to fly protest banners at the BCS Championship Game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and at the NCAA Convention in San Diego.

    "It's become clear that relying on NCAA policymakers won't work, that they are never going to protect college athletes, and you can see that with their actions over the past decade," Huma said. "Look at their position on concussions. They say they have no legal obligation to protect players."

    The initial goals of the CAPA do not include a call for schools to pay salaries, Huma said. However, he declined to rule out the possibility that CAPA would seek that type of compensation in the future and said he knows the public will begin speculating about scenarios in which players would receive a cut of the $5.15 billion in revenues currently generated by athletic departments in the five power conferences.

    Those universities will be flush with new cash in the coming years due to the advent of the College Football Playoff which starts next year, and the signing of lucrative, long-term media contracts that will more than double in value by 2020, according to the SportsBusiness Journal.

    At the outset, only Division I FBS football players and men's basketball players -- the athletes at the center of the commercial enterprise -- will be eligible to join CAPA because they are best situated to make a case to be treated as employees, Huma said. Over time, the CAPA may expand its scope to include other sports.

    He said only scholarship players are eligible for inclusion, as they have are already being compensated by schools in the form of a "grant-in-aid" that is capped at the level of tuition, room and board, books and fees.

    By filing the union cards with the NLRB, CAPA triggers a process that could take years to resolve. The first group that will consider the request will be the regional board of the NLRB, whose decision can be appealed to the national board.

    Northwestern is expected to oppose the action on the grounds athletes are not employees, and the NCAA, the trade association representing the athletic interests of universities, will likely enter the fray as well.

    Gerard said he would "not be surprised" if it ends up in the federal court system.

    Athletes playing for university-based teams are not currently considered employees by any legal body. They haven't been since 1953, when the Colorado Supreme Court upheld a determination by the state Industrial Commission that a football player at the University of Denver was an "employee" within the context of the Colorado workers' compensation statute.

    As a result, the university was responsible to provide workers' comp for his football injuries. The NCAA responded by coining the term "student-athlete" and mandating its use by universities. Use of that term, and other efforts to draw a enforce the idea that athletes cannot also be employees, ramped up as the NCAA a few years later introduced athletic scholarships, a form of compensation for services provided.

    The distinction has held, though since then the courts have come to recognize other students who provide services to universities as employees. Graduate students who teach, for instance, are recognized as employees of universities under laws in many states. Academics such as Richard and Amy McCormick of Michigan State have argued that athletes are employees under the common law definition of the National Labor Relations Act.

    The NLRA governs only private enterprises and does apply to public universities. As a private university, Northwestern University falls under its jurisdiction. Gerard said that based on labor law, any decision in favor of the players against Northwestern would apply to all private universities across the country in the FBS division. It would not apply to public universities, which are governed by state laws.
     
  2. TL

    TL Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    26
    Good first step. Hope the school does as little as they can to stand in the way of this. Purple pride.
     
  3. DwightHoward13

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    20
    Just send this thread to the D&D already.
     
  4. dumbartonbass

    dumbartonbass Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,913
    Likes Received:
    3,150
    Facts. Logic. Reason.
     
  5. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    85,760
    Likes Received:
    92,132
    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Northwestern athletes win in NLRB bid for CAPA union. NU says statement coming soon, but they'll likely appeal.</p>&mdash; Allie Grasgreen (@alliegrasgreen) <a href="https://twitter.com/alliegrasgreen/statuses/448892973137555456">March 26, 2014</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Wow ... <a href="https://twitter.com/CAPAssociation">@CAPAssociation</a> wins its case at the NLRB. College athletes are on their way to a union. Victory for ex-Northwestern QB Kain Colter.</p>&mdash; Chris Emma (@CEmmaScout) <a href="https://twitter.com/CEmmaScout/statuses/448889769313857536">March 26, 2014</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
     
  6. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2001
    Messages:
    18,881
    Likes Received:
    9,416
    I can't wait for Kornheiser to put it to "his boy".
     
  7. crash5179

    crash5179 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2000
    Messages:
    16,443
    Likes Received:
    1,233
    Good for them!
     
  8. texanskan

    texanskan Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,494
    Likes Received:
    86
    This will not end well. Prediction if this happens they will be shut out and the union will break almost immediately
     
  9. Summer Song Giver

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    6,285
    Likes Received:
    135
    Someone with cash needs to bankroll an American Football league open to all 18-22 year olds who want to earn out of High School instead of the traditional NCAA route.
     
  10. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    44,786
    Likes Received:
    14,528
    Good for them. Hope this destroys College Football's money grab.
     
  11. dumbartonbass

    dumbartonbass Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,913
    Likes Received:
    3,150
    Seriously. Anybody bemoaning this because of the word "union" should take a deep look at the power of the NCAA. It is not a benevolent organization. It's power and money hungry.

    Northwestern's unionizing and the class action lawsuits currently in the courts are, I hope, the beginning of the end of the NCAA as we know it.

    Please note that I enjoy college sports. It's the governing body that needs to go.
     
  12. Major

    Major Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    37,670
    Likes Received:
    9,146
    Can they not play in the Arena League?
     
  13. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2001
    Messages:
    18,881
    Likes Received:
    9,416
    Did I miss something here? Did a bunch of illegal aliens just decide to start
     
    #13 Roc Paint, Mar 26, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  14. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2001
    Messages:
    18,881
    Likes Received:
    9,416
     
  15. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2001
    Messages:
    18,881
    Likes Received:
    9,416
  16. TL

    TL Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    26
  17. Summer Song Giver

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    6,285
    Likes Received:
    135
    They can, against grown ass men, I'm talking about a developmental league with an ever churning roster of 18-22 year olds who either want to make it in the NFL or want to continue playing after High School.
     
  18. Major

    Major Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    37,670
    Likes Received:
    9,146
    There's no market for this. It has all the drawbacks of the college game - constant roster turnover, lack of fundamentals, wide discrepency in talent, etc - without any of the benefits.
     
  19. Summer Song Giver

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    6,285
    Likes Received:
    135
    What if it were tied to NFL teams though, and they could begin drafting 18 year olds and stashing them in the "minors" until they were ready to be brought up?
     
  20. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    51,311
    Likes Received:
    23,075
    LMFAO - how will this affect them - their wages, which are currenlty fixed at zero currently, if they are "shut out" will also be zero - how will this "break the union"?

    You should actually think about what you post first.
     

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now