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Northwestern University and Michigan State University football players lined up against each other.
In big, big news in the fight to curb the NCAA's exploitation of unpaid athletes, the National Labor Relations Board's Chicago district ruled that Northwestern University football players meet the definition of employees and can unionize:
NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr cited the players' time commitment to their sport and that their scholarships were tied directly to their performance as reasons for granting them union rights.

Ohr wrote in his ruling that Wildcats players "fall squarely within the [National Labor Relations] Act's broad definition of 'employee' when one considers the common law definition of 'employee.'"

Northwestern will appeal the ruling, and with the players on the team turning over substantially from year to year, by the time of a final decision on whether they get a union vote, many of the leaders of this effort to unionize will have graduated. But this is an important step in the fight.

The full ruling is here.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:02 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow. This is gonna be a powerful lesson (8+ / 0-)

    for athletes, who are often more focussed on their privileges than on their rights.

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:07:32 PM PDT

  •  I hope this spreads like wildfire. (17+ / 0-)

    If this holds up, its going to bring profound changes to Uni's all over the country.
    Most collage players don't go on careers in the pros, yet still suffer ongoing health problems from injures from playing the game, and they should have monitory  compensation, and follow up medical care after their playing days are over.
     

    Severely Socialist 47283

    by ichibon on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:15:01 PM PDT

  •  just curious (5+ / 0-)

    if this could also be applicable to students with academic, or some other merit based, scholarships? Usually, they do have a substantial (unstructured)  time commitment, and the award is also usually tied in with their performance.

    Tip'd and rec'd

    "Labor was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things" -- Adam Smith

    by HugoDog on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:17:28 PM PDT

    •  I don't believe so... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      even with the hours students have to put in, they have more available time than athletes to have jobs on the side.  

      "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

      by cardboardurinal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:56:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It should absolutely apply (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, Sparhawk

      There is no difference at all.  

      I went to school on an ROTC scholarship and I was required to do lots of extra stuff, including holding office hours for more junior cadets my senior year.  But I was not an employee.  This ruling would change that.  

      Take to its logical extension, this ruling could end all scholarships since any business or foundation that offered a scholarship could be held responsible for all manner of things.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:21:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How about those with music scholarships (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, ksuwildkat, HugoDog

      that have to attend practice and concerts?

      •  I was wonder exactly that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mannie

        all of the performing arts, for that matter. Not to mention all of the time they have to put in on their own, to be prepared for rehearsals. Many of those performances are not for credit, but you can be sure the faculty will take notice if you suck.

        "Labor was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things" -- Adam Smith

        by HugoDog on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:44:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good, it's a start nt (6+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:18:33 PM PDT

  •  Where will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie

    The money for dues come from, I wonder?  

    Also wonder if they'll need to start wearing union made uniforms?  

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:24:55 PM PDT

  •  you mean the free rides are not enough payment? (6+ / 0-)

    This has the potential for elimination of a lot of different sports programs. Many colleges don't make much money of some sports, and make nothing off others. It might just be cheaper to get rid of those if students demanded to get paid.

    I expect this to be overturned anyways, but it's not a good idea.

    •  aoeu (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, Risen Tree

      Clearly the players feel their labor is worth more than they are being compensated.

      All my rights reserved.

      by TealVeal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:29:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That all sounds great! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093, JesseCW

      except the "expect it to be over-turned" part.

    •  I also wonder how this would work (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HugoDog, Mannie, Norm in Chicago, roberb7

      in light of Title IX programs -- if football (and presumably basketball) players can unionize and claim the lion's share of the money, where does the money come from for sports that don't make money for the university?

      Now, if they found a way to separate the money made from things like ticket revenue and TV money from the money made by selling gear with players' names/numbers, and have that memorabilia money available to the players, that could be a compromise.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:29:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  other sports (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mannie, Norm in Chicago

        would most likely become club sports and have to be paid for through private direct donations.

      •  Hmm... (6+ / 0-)

        Being unionized doesn't necessarily mean they'll be claiming the lion's share of the profits.  The colleges will still have a notable leverage: college football is the path to the NFL and even though post college players don't get drafted a lot of them think or hope they might.  

      •  The players would (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago, Mannie

        Expect to be paid based on all the revenue they help generate.

         The Unintended consequences would be other sports would be dropped to club status. I.e. Not varsity.

        This would then result in haves and have nots. Football, men's basketball and maybe a couple of other sports would be the 1% and the rest of the teams will force athletes to pay to play. It's not that hard to see the results. But, hey, their unionized and that justifies all else. So, it's a good thing.....

        You best believe it does

        by HangsLeft on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:41:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  aoeu (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Norm in Chicago, 6412093, JesseCW

          From another perspective, why should the other sports be paid for with compensation unfairly taken from the football players?

          All my rights reserved.

          by TealVeal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:47:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I got a doozy of a reply for this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Risen Tree
            From another perspective, why should the other sports be paid for with compensation unfairly taken from the football players?
            Where have I heard a similar sentiment ... oh yeah, an example below (and you will know where I have heard that)

            Why should my income compensation be taken from me and given to those people who don't work

            Kinda follows the same thinking IMHO

            I see the FB, Mens BB (and a few select others sports at various colleges) as the 1% sports getting the lions share of athletic money.

            The other sports do provide scholarships (full or partial) and as such more kids to get a college education

            I can't in my progressive mind stand by letting a few athletes make big cash while depriving others a basic college education which will happen under concentrating the money distribution to the top select few

            Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

            by Mannie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:57:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  aoeu (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilJD, JesseCW

              Oddly enough, I approach it from a progressive angle as well. They are having the value their labor produces redirected into the bank accounts of their employers.

              The only reason other sports (all sports really) need scholarships is because tuition has increased to ridiculous levels because states are decreasing their support of public education.

              All my rights reserved.

              by TealVeal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:00:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  aoeu (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mannie, JesseCW

              I suspect if tuition were reasonable then there would be plenty of money remaining to both more fairly compensate the football players for their labor and support other sports.

              This is basically a situation where the rich have pit two classes of have-almost-nots and have-nots against each other to distract from the root cause.

              All my rights reserved.

              by TealVeal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:03:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The same could apply to all college departments (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mannie

            Engineering brings in a lot of money, lots of money, as grad students do all the hard work of turning a new idea into a real sellable product.  University engineering departments make a lot of money licensing out technologies to industry.

            So why should engineering give up that money to fund the English dept that just sits around reading bad poetry and producing nothing?

            Every man for himself?

            •  aoeu (5+ / 0-)

              Grad students should be more fairly compensated. So should adjunct professors. Of course engineering departments should keep some of the money they bring in, but not all of it. Not what I'm saying at all.

              Let's look where the money has been redirected to (administration) and act appropriately. As I mentioned above, this is a distraction away from the root cause which is decreased state support of education.

              All my rights reserved.

              by TealVeal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:13:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  not only that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mannie

          but smaller schools won't be able to afford any sports at all. Most cost effective to close up shop and rent out stadiums.

        •  maybe varsity , but not necessarily division 1-A (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE

          there are lot's of schools with athletic teams that don't have football teams. I have no idea what their funding mechanism is, though.

          "Labor was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things" -- Adam Smith

          by HugoDog on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:52:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And what great tragedy will be suffered if (0+ / 0-)

          Golf and Tennis suddenly become non-varsity sports.

          Right?

      •  Why is that the problem of football and (0+ / 0-)

        basketball players who are getting their bodies battered to make the cash in the first place?

        Why should they gladly hand over the lions share of the productive output of their labor when their own basic needs aren't being met?

    •  "Enough" (14+ / 0-)

      This is a system that generates billions of dollars each year, and this system consolidates & distributes the billions it generates at the upper levels of executives, management and institutions. The "workers" of this system, who're primarily responsible for creating the money being shared among those overseeing things, are compensated with a fraction of the profits, and usually no concern for their future after the experience. In fact, if they get some money, a meal, a coat, a pair of shoes, or plane ticket to go home for the holidays from anyone the system doesn't approve of, these "workers" will be punished.

      There would be no video games, licensed jerseys, multi-year television deals, six figure NCAA executive salaries, or corporate sponsorships without the 18-21 year olds running up & down the field or court.

      According to reports, more than a dozen NCAA employees collectively earn more than $6 million in salary a year. [NCAA President Mark] Emmert wouldn’t disclose his annual salary to “Frontline,” but he walked away from $900,000 a year as president at the University of Washington. His predecessor at the NCAA earned as much as $1.7 million a year.

      Essentially, everyone is getting paid handsomely except the ones doing the heavy lifting.

      “I can’t say often enough, obviously, that student-athletes are students,” Emmert tells Bergman, showing signs of frustration. “They are not employees.”

      And therein lies the crux of the NCAA’s position: The student-athletes are compensated with an education, the value of which pales in comparison to the dollars they bring to their universities.

      (Source)

      •  Oh, don't pretend those salaries go away (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mannie

        Be real.  All the executives at the top keep their jobs and their salaries.  Hell, they'll probably all get raises because now they have to "interface with the players unions" and can claim more responsibility, so more pay.

        Whatever extra pay the athletes get will come out of what little money trickles down to all the non televised sports.  

    •  NW Pres said NW will look into dropping football (7+ / 0-)

      if this happens. Unfortunately all i think will happen is this will get rid of thousands of scholarships.

      Private schools and small schools with drop football or drop down to non scholarship level. and without those 85 mens scholarships, AD's will immediately cut 85 girls scholarships to cut costs

      I think the real culprit in all of this is the NFL - they exploit the colleges as a free minor league and marketing system.

      •  Interesting take - I hadn't heard the NW (5+ / 0-)

        president say this.

        At Northwestern University a 4-year scholarship is worth AT LEAST a quarter-million dollars - more than $60,000/year for tuition, fees, room & board, and books.

        Northwestern athletes no doubt get way more than that in the bargain - including all travel costs (airfare, hotels, ground transport, meals), training tables/training services, equipment/uniforms/shoes, and dedicated facilities and services for academic tutoring to name just a few.

        The notion that athletes on scholarship are getting zero in return for their services is flat-out false.

        'Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive' - VP Joe Biden

        by RobertInWisconsin on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:51:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wonder what the graduation rate there is. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike, 6412093, JesseCW

          Being Northwestern it's probably higher than the norm, but I lived in Ohio for a number of years and at OSU it was common knowledge that a lot of those OSU players never actually graduated.

          Brief googling led me to this article, which has some statistics on the subject.  If graduation rates for kids who would, in the absence of a sports scholarship, never gone to college, is exceedingly low, the opportunity to attend school is worth a lot less than it appears.

          "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

          by auron renouille on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:02:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  NU football graduates 97% of its players (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mannie, auron renouille, LordMike, 6412093

            But NU is usually #1 in the country in this department each year.

            Forward thinking!

            by TheC on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:12:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I wonder if Ohio State is uniquely bad in that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mannie

              area then.  I was young when I lived in the Columbus area but it seemed like there was a fair amount of mainstream media focus on poor graduation rates amongst OSU athletics.

              That 97% graduation rate is astonishing - even students going to school solely for academics have lower graduation rates because sometimes life happens - money woes, family problems, etc.  So that rate is enormous.

              "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

              by auron renouille on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:06:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  97 % (4+ / 0-)

            for Northwestern football, which is quite amazing. What is the graduation rate for non-athletes ? My guess is significantly below that.

            And in learning that nugget, I also noticed that this ruling ONLY affects private institutions - not the big-time public universities. Also I wonder if it's irrelevant in so-called 'right-to-work' states ?

            'Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive' - VP Joe Biden

            by RobertInWisconsin on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:16:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I can speak for KSU (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            auron renouille, bryduck, Superpole

            and the graduation rate for Student Athletes is SIGNIFICANTLY higher than the general population.  

                First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 80%
                4-Year Graduation Rate: 27%
                6-Year Graduation Rate: 58%

            It is a myth that student athletes fail out at higher rates than the general population at most schools.  This is not to say that some schools have issues - they do - but at most schools the overall population is reflected in the SA population.  

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:47:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  While you... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mannie, JesseCW

          are correct to a certain extent, you have to remember that not every athlete who goes to college goes to get their education.  They go because they are forced to go in order to make it to the pro level.  I don't know this for sure, but I would guess their is collusion (especially for football) between the NFL and NCAA to force kids through college in order to make money off them.

          "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

          by cardboardurinal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:02:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  *There is collusion... (0+ / 0-)

            stupid me...I usually take pride that I can tell the difference between their, there and they're.  

            "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

            by cardboardurinal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:08:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Every profession has a formal training program (0+ / 0-)

            If you want to be an MD, you go to med school.  You want to be an RN, you go to nursing school.  A teacher, etc...

            So why is it so bad if someone want so be a pro athlete?

            And yes, there is a path to pro football and pro basketball where you can avoid college.  Very few go this route because all the top talent ends up in a college program.

            And if you want to be the best, you have to play against the best.

            •  Hockey has an alternative system (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mannie, HugoDog, Risen Tree, JesseCW

              Kids that have a real shot at the NHL tend to play "Major Junior" hockey in Canada, but the NCAA considers that a semi-pro league so it costs you college eligibility. NCAA hockey programs are sort of a second tier minor league.

              Those who support banning cocaine are no better than those who support banning cheeseburgers

              by EthrDemon on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:06:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But there are still plenty of nhl hockey (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mannie

                players that have played in college.

                Baseball has been touted as a sport that goes directly from high school to the the minors, but that has been changing over the last couple of decades.  Billy Beane, the A's GM, much prefers kids that have played in college because they are more grounded and mature.

            •  What you talk about... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW

              isn't even the same thing.  Unlike sports, what you listed requires academic knowledge...what academic knowledge do athletes require?

              "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

              by cardboardurinal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:12:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow, just wow (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mannie, Fall line

                I guess you totally buy in to the stupid athlete narrative.

                Football is incredibly complex.  Playbooks are massive.  Film study is hours of breaking down individual tendencies and "tells" for coverages, offensive sets, etc.

                Baseball is a data nightmare.  Pitchers and catchers going over every swing of the opponents.  Infielders looking at thousands of at bats to see where to shift, then turning around and looking at opponent shifts to see where they can exploit holes.

                Basketball takes the film study of football and triples the opponents while doubling the work load (playing offense and defense).  Down three with 30 seconds and you need to foul.  Quick who of the 5 guys on the court, 12-15 guys on the team of the 36 teams you play, is the best free throw shooter?  Oh too late because you needed to figure that out while running backwards.

                Hockey is almost pure Trigonometry.  

                Volleyball is about speed and angles of attack.  

                Golf is physics on a grand scale.

                All of these sports require decision making in split seconds.  Watch a football game or basketball game where a senior is matched up against a freshman.  You can see them thinking.  You can see the freshman go "oh shit" as that senior blows past him because the kid bit on the inside fake.  You can see the freshman blocker hesitate just a fraction of a second trying to decide of its a spike or a dump and missing the block.  and of course you can see the craft senior hold her arm just a tiny bit longer to make that freshman hesitate.  

                99% of college athletes are smart as hell.  Few of the dumb ones stick around for more than a season.  

                It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

                by ksuwildkat on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:31:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And where did I say... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  METAL TREK, JesseCW

                  that athletes are stupid?  Where did I say that playbooks are not complex?  My point is that sports is more OJT and instinct than traditional studying.  Athletes learn their trade from coaches and managers, this is especially true of the leagues they hope to play in.  Look at how many players were great in college, but could not adapt to the professional game.  It isn't that these kids are not smart, or physically unprepared for the game, it is that the games are different and what works in one does not work in others.  Also a simple one...rules are different.

                  Do you honestly think an athlete is thinking of angles, trig and mathematics when they play?  The thoughts that go through their heads are derived from repetition, repetition, repetition.  They don't have to think, "who do we not foul because he is trying to initiate contact and will 90% of the time knock down the FT."  They know this before the game from studying, but they do not need college to learn these skills.  If you believe that they need college, then it would be you who thinks the athletes are stupid.  That without someone showing them how to study the other team, they couldn't possibly break down the game.  They know the tendencies of the people they play against.  This is more true of professionals since there are no "one and done" players. They will often learn the tendencies of their rivals over the course of a season or over the years.  Many athletes also simply have an instinct for the game.  

                  I guess, since Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Miguel Cabrera, and Mike Trout didn't go to college means they are not prepared to play their respective sports and that they are stupid because they didn't learn how to think about the game in real time in college...oh wait, that is total bullshit.  

                  Again, don't try to put thoughts in my head.  People do NOT need college to be considered smart or to have a strong aptitude for something.  

                  "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

                  by cardboardurinal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 04:31:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  your words (0+ / 0-)

                    "what academic knowledge do athletes require"

                    You said it.  Now go tell Tiger that he doesnt use physics every day.  Don't think for a minute coefficient of friction doesnt go through his head when he is dealing with wet vs dry greens.

                    You think surgery is not about repetition?  You think playing a violin is not about muscle memory?  But going to a university to lear that is "real" learning?

                    I feel sad your you and your education.  My degree taught me critical thinking and how to analyze a problem.  Skills athletes use every time they get on the filed/court.  My degree didn't teach me what to think, it taught me how to think.

                    Nope, Kobe and LeBron and a few others didn't need to go to college.  Neither did Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.  Some actors and musicians never go to school either. There are always outliers (and if you read "Outliers" you will learn why they are not even outliers).  Go ahead and base your beliefs on the exceptions.

                    And you can pretend all you want but your words "what academic knowledge do athletes require" say exactly what you think about athletes.  

                    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

                    by ksuwildkat on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:35:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Wow... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      6412093, JesseCW

                      You feel sorry my education without having a clue what my educational background is?

                      Sure, let's talk about Tiger Woods.  Do you really think he learned his golf skills by studying physics?  I highly doubt it.  Sure the rules of physics applies to the world of golf, it doesn't mean the best players actually understand them on a theoretical level.  The reading of the greens, understanding wind resistance, how hard to strike a ball for a desired conclusion isn't a book skill, it is practical skill.  I am pretty sure Tiger learned from doing, not reading a book.  Sure, he understands the rules on many levels.  He did not need a physics class to learn how a golf ball flies.

                      And I would say that the majority of athletes playing in professional sports (especially in the NBA) do not have degrees, and given that many (not all college athletes and all sports are in this regard) actually spent more time on the court (or field) and in the gym than in the classroom, I highly doubt they got a great education while there.  Of course there will be exceptions (Richard Sherman, Tim Duncan, Shane Battier, et el) these players are the exception, not the rule regarding a traditional education.  Those CBB players who go to UNC, MSU, Syracuse, Kentucky, Kansas, et el are not likely there to learn physics or trig, they are there because they can't go straight to the NBA.

                      Now go ahead and misunderstand what I said and equate a college education with being the only way to learn a skill.

                      "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

                      by cardboardurinal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:28:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  HA! (0+ / 0-)
                  Golf is physics on a grand scale
                  You dig the ball out of the dirt, according to Ben Hogan.

                  “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

                  by 6412093 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:37:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  it is the same thing (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mannie

                MD's go to med school to learn the skills needed in their profession.  This is the same reason the NBA and the NFL prefers kids who have played in college as well...they have the skills (not just the ability) to succeed at the pro level.

                Did you know that the number one predictor of success of an NFL Quarterback?

                4 Years as a starter in college....

        •  Sorta. (0+ / 0-)

          That's assuming those kids would pay full freight via their own or other scholarship pockets. It's not likely so.

          They're not getting all their meals paid or all their needs met. We have an example in the current March Madness, where the kids are out of town but not playing and the school isn't providing a meal that day.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:05:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Worth" and "costs" aren't synonyms. (0+ / 0-)
      •  HUH?? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mannie

        The NFL told or commanded colleges to turn their sports programs into BIG money enterprises?

        NOPE.

        "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

        by Superpole on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:36:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually alomost none (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie

      There are probably 20-30 universities in the country that actually profit from sports.  Another 20-30 break even.  The rest lose money.  

      this is going to destroy college sports.

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:22:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Baloney (6+ / 0-)

      The NCAA makes $771 million dollars a year simply on March Madness TV deals.

      This will lead to a restructuring of a system that right now makes millions off the backs of athletes who aren't compensated.

      Poor corporatist universities that pay their coaches millions of dollars...this is absolutely what needs to happen to end a corrupt system of college athletics and change it back into an actual structure benefiting student-athletes.

    •  Why Should it Be When Coaches (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Risen Tree, JesseCW

      are being paid $4-$5 million per year at some of the top colleges?

      Let's face it-- it's the colleges who turned college sports into BIG money businesses.

      "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

      by Superpole on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:34:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When you have kids struggling to pay for their (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Risen Tree, 6412093

      meals on the road and having difficulty making their day to day expenses while the coach is paid millions of dollars, that's a problem.

      If the schools had been doing right by the kids (sometimes NCAA prevents them from doing so, sometimes not), this wouldn't be an issue.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:01:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a BIG Sports Fan (15+ / 0-)

    We really need to be de-emphasizing collegiate athletics.  The overwhelming majority of college football programs are money pits (colleges compete because they feel they must), and Athletic Departments take WAY TOO MUCH $$$ away from Academics!

    “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” -Albert Einstein

    by Dr Christopher Boerl on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:28:28 PM PDT

  •  Speaking as an avid sports fan, (17+ / 0-)

    I hope this is only the beginning of ending the hypocrisy and blatant charade that is intercollegiate athletics in this country.  The vast majority of the system is badly broken and needs to be demolished and rebuilt.  I applaud the Northwestern students and other students who have sacrificed and led this fight for sanity and fairness.

  •  Good. We can stop pretending they're students (9+ / 0-)

    Students pay tuition and go to school to learn.  Some students also do athletics as a hobby, but still pay and still learn.

    But the basketball or football professional athlete on a scholarship doesn't pay, and is at practice and games far too often to learn anything on average, as their graduation rate clearly shows.  Players on a winning basketball team during March Madness will be away from class for over a month.  

    They're not students, they're paid entertainers, employees of the college.  They are there for one thing, and one thing only - to win games.

    I applaud this rare moment of sanity, and calling it like it is.  No more pretending.

    •  I disagree 100% (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryduck, pdkesq, howarddream

      The VAST majority of college athletes will never be professionals, they will get their education and move into the workforce like other college students.

      It is amazing the number of former D1 college athletes that are now lawyers, doctors, teachers (a big % become teachers).

      This whole idea of college athletes being nothing but dumb jocks is just untrue.

    •  I didnt pay tuition (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, elfling

      was I not a student?  Universities offer full ride scholarships to students for all kinds of reasons.  In fact, I got a MUCH better deal than most student athletes.  

      I got a full ride plus cash.  Good money cash, not the tiny stipends NCAA athletes get.  

      I could work where ever I wanted and make as much as I wanted.  NCAA athletes are effectively banned from work.

      I had a university offer to give my wife a job to attend there instead of KSU.  That would get you probation from the NCAA if I played a sport.

      There are 450 professional basketball players in the NBA.  There are almost 5000 Division 1 basketball players.  The NFL has roughly 2000 players (including practice squads).  There are over 10,000 Division 1 football players.  Only a tiny fraction of all NCAA athletes ever go into professional sports.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:40:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow, wasn't expecting that one. (4+ / 0-)

    It's been a long time since I've done labor law but this smells like the kind of issue that could make it to the appellate courts, if not higher, assuming the younger students are willing to carry the torch when the current plaintiffs graduate.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:32:12 PM PDT

  •  If this ruling stands (6+ / 0-)

    This will forever alter ALL of college sports.

    The start of bidding wars for top recruits, less money to go to non-revenue (Olympic sports) forcing them to be cut Some schools not being able to keep up in the arms race.

    My fear is that a FEW athletes will get much richer, while overall some schools decide they can't compete and DROP these sports causing some kids who would otherwise get a valuable free education to get nothing!

    This could truly end up to be an aexample of the top 1% (of the talented kids) getting most the wealth and a lot of lesser atheletes getting nothing and possibly even LOSING the opportunity at a free education.

    And kids wanting to go play Olympic sports will also suffer (and many women's sports who now get scholarships too)

    I'm not for exploitation of the kids making the schools rich, but I worry about the unintended side-effects of this ruling

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:35:38 PM PDT

  •  Get education out of the pro athletics business (12+ / 0-)

    If the rest of the world doesn't require soccer players to play for a college team, then we don't need to require football or basketball players to do it, either.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:38:15 PM PDT

    •  MLB players don't have to go to college (10+ / 0-)

      And many don't.  Minor league teams take 18 year olds right out of high school.  Example, in 1995 the Cubs drafted Kerry Wood at 18, and he was only 20 when he threw 20 strikeouts in 1998.  

      If MLB made their players attend college, Wood would have been a junior somewhere in 1998.

      For whatever reason, college baseball never caught on as a big deal like football and basketball did, so no one cares that there isn't massive mass marketed and televised college baseball.

      The NFL and NBA just need to run minor league farm teams like baseball does.  And poof!  All the top pro athletes go there, and college athletics can go back to being a hobby for the kids who are there to think and learn, as college should be.

      As an engineer at the University of Illinois I found it disgusting to pay to be there while everyone fawned over the dumb jocks who couldn't read worth a damn.

      •  I think college baseball didn't catch on (7+ / 0-)

        to the same degree (no pun intended; well, maybe it is) because the extensive, nation-wide, multi-level minor league system was already in place before the growth of college football and basketball as enormous revenue-producers. Had there been similar minor league systems in football and basketball, the college versions would be no more popular than college baseball is today.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:14:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Honestly, that's the best outcome of all this. (8+ / 0-)

      If college athletics goes back to being an amateur sport and athletics looks more like it does for hockey (which has youth scouting leagues like the WHL) or for soccer, which doesn't have any meaningful NCAA component, we'll all be the better for it.  I'm not anti-sports but imho NCAA as a massive scouting operation for major league sports (and a profit center for a small minority of schools) is an accident of history that needs to be remedied.

      Of course, most athletes, I hate to say, won't be successful, and a lot of those WHL players will never see more than a couple minutes of NHL play, if that; they'll need careers when they can no longer play.  But that can be easily addressed by finding a good way to mandate that the various leagues have private GI Bill-like benefits that ensure that players who find themselves unable to reach that level of success are able to fund a college education at the end of their playing careers.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:56:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or those minor league team up with a college (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auron renouille, METAL TREK

        and provide those who play for them a break on tuition.

        You don't HAVE to go to school, and you have to fit it in around whatever sport you're playing, but the option is there for you.

        Same requirements as for any other student. No special tutors, no special classes, no special anything. Help if you need it, of course, because most colleges do have help available if you need some extra help with a course.

        If they qualify for an academic scholarship, or financial aid, that's great. If they don't, they pay the discounted rate they get because they work with a partner organization.

        Most colleges do offer reduced or free tuition to their employees. So the athletes could definitely be given the same deal as other employees, which would give them the option to get an education while they played.

        The other thing it would do is allow the minor league team time to train the athlete well, even if it took more than 4 yrs. Or to move them up faster. Or to give them an option for a different job, maybe as an assistant coach.

        It would be an entirely different way of looking at things. And long overdue, IMHO.

        •  There's actually some room for sponsorship here. (0+ / 0-)

          Portland OR has a team in one of the Canadian junior hockey leagues; I could picture Portland State heavily discounting or waiving tuition+fees for athletes who have played a minimum number of games on our hockey team in exchange for high-profile advertising opportunities.  PSU tuition is comparatively low to start with, as I understand; it'd be a good bargain for all parties.

          (off-topic: we live across the street from one of the players, who are boarded ("billeted") with local families for supervision since they are as young as 15 or 16; I think ages 15-20 but I'm not certain).

          "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

          by auron renouille on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:06:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Wont they have to pay taxes on those scholarships (5+ / 0-)

    1 year at NW with food and book stipends is probably valued at 60-70k. pretty hefty tax bill for an 18 year old

  •  faculty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, Gooserock

    Are Northwestern's faculty members unionized?

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:39:42 PM PDT

    •  I Would Guess Numerous of the Staff Are nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, JesseCW

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:07:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melvynny

      Faculty at Northwestern are definitely not unionized. Under the Yeshiva ruling, they might be considered management, which is a total joke. Not that they would ever unionize, but they ought to have the right to do so. Same with student athletes.

      The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason (www.limbaughbook.com).

      by JohnKWilson on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:03:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This will upend college football. Even if it ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, a2nite, TheC, 6412093

    ... doesn't hold, this is the warning shot across the bow to the NCAA and its quixotic, unfair and unjust, unevenhanded application of its, er, rules.

    GO CATS!

    2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:46:47 PM PDT

  •  Slippery slope! (6+ / 0-)

    The marching band union will have precision picket lines.

    The cheerleaders union will hoist their demands upon human pyramids.

    And the mascot union. Oh, the mascot union. Lions & Tigers & Bears, oh my!

    In all seriousness, this is literally a game-changer. It could be the beginning of fairness, or it could be the beginning of the end of collegiate sports as we currently know it. Only time will tell.

    •  Think of the Size Band needed to Spell Out (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CDH in Brooklyn, JeffW, JesseCW

      Script Look-For-the-Union-Label at halftime.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:08:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heh™! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, CDH in Brooklyn, dougymi

      My brother, Kossack dcnw, is a NUMB Alum, i.e., he was a member of the Wildcat Marching Band, back when the band was the only good-looking thing on the field!

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:20:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why are these options contradictory? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burlydee
      It could be the beginning of fairness, or it could be the beginning of the end of collegiate sports as we currently know it.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:21:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on how "as we know it" shapes up. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilJD

        Even in today's very flawed system, there are many kids gaining access to eduction by way of athletic scholarships, including many from poor families in economically-depressed areas. If those are eliminated and/or if only the top power conference schools are able to continue offering only revenue-generating sports, then not all "student-athletes" will come out winners.

        Again, too soon to say how a revenue-sharing scheme may be devised in order to make everyone at least marginally satisfied.

        My crystal ball is telling me that the NCAA's days are numbered and this is the first step in privatization of a minor league NFL & a more robust D League for the NBA. MLB wouldn't be as affected by the collapse of the NCAA, since they already have a well-established multi-level farm system.

        Swimming, diving, gymnastics, soccer, etc. Pay-your-own-way club sports.

        I hope I'm wrong.

  •  University of Chicago (15+ / 0-)

    As an alum, I think it is perhaps useful to note the position of the University of Chicago back in the middle of last century.

    Few may realize it today, but the University of Chicago was a founding member of the Big Ten and was a sports powerhouse for much of the first half of the twentieth century. In 1939, however, the University made a conscious decision that too much emphasis was being placed on intercollegiate sports and not enough on academics. They got rid of their football program all together and scaled back others. By 1946, after 7 years of being non-competitive, they left the Big Ten (paving the way for Michigan State to join). In the years that followed they have pulled back some (but not a lot) from this position and now have a Division III program.

    I'm biased (and willing to admit it), but I'd like to see all colleges get rid of sports scholarships all together. Sports could still exist, but they would be played by much more traditional students. Of course, that would totally change the entire institution of college sports (particular Division I) and quite a number of colleges as a whole. Then what currently exists as college sports would have to be reconstituted as a minor league.

    YMMV

    Take it easy, but take it.

    by ltsply2 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:52:56 PM PDT

  •  Going to be interesting seeing how they figure out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie

    how to make this work.  

    If I comply with non-compliance am I complying? Sarcasm is the ability to insult stupid people without them realizing it.

    by thestructureguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:54:42 PM PDT

  •  Too smart for their own good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, thestructureguy

    As soon as they become employees they will have to pay taxes on their scholarship.  

    Tuition, Room and Board, value of provided items will all become income.  For students at high cost schools this could easily top $10K a year.  even a low cost school would likely generate a $4-5K annual tax bill.  Any additional monies would also be taxable as income.  

    This will also devastate non-revenue sports.  Universities will do the absolute minimum to maintain their requirements but if you participate in a minor sport for get it.  Division II might disappear completely.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:12:35 PM PDT

    •  Also, its true that a lot of people like coaches, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie

      and administration are being paid a lot money it all doesn't go to salaries.  Where will the money they use for the benefit of other students and improvements come from?  Higher tuition or cut backs i would imagine.

      If I comply with non-compliance am I complying? Sarcasm is the ability to insult stupid people without them realizing it.

      by thestructureguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:21:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Haven't seen this IMPORTANT point (0+ / 0-)

    All scholarships are year to year. Every year most schools do cut a few scholarship players for various reasons.

    Northwestern COULD decide to cut EVERYONE from the team and recruit kids who PROMISE NOT to join the union.  That would be incorporated into all the LOIs (Letter of intent) (The thing used to "sign" players)

    What would stop them?!

    A lawsuit?  That would take years and years in the courts (as a quick and speedy trial is a joke these days)

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:22:27 PM PDT

    •  What would stop them? I don't know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093

      the fact that they wouldn't have a football program and would lose millions of dollars.  

      •  I did address that by saying (0+ / 0-)

        they would sign kids who agreed NOT to unionize to play football

        Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

        by Mannie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:30:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Losing all of their games (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mannie, 6412093, JesseCW

          by scores like 60-0 would tend to put a damper on recruitment, booster donations, and the like. That is what would almost assuredly happen if you cut all of the existing players and only played incoming first-year players (even if you could get a sprinkling of others to stay on.)

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:28:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Like business haven't been tanked on purpose (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dougymi

            for ulterior motives

            See vulture capitalism

            I could see a school going to that extreme to keep the system in place and make money off the conference as a whole

            Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

            by Mannie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:44:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Or pay them and then (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie

      turn around and bill them for tuition, fees, room, board, books, equipment, uniforms, shoes, travel expenses (airfare, ground transport, hotels, meals), training and tutoring services, etc.

      'Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive' - VP Joe Biden

      by RobertInWisconsin on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:31:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The sad thing is the things they are bargaining (11+ / 0-)

    for

    1. Full medical benefits
    2. A right not to have your scholarship not taken away if you get injured
    3. Better scholarships that cover the full cost of attending college
    4. Funds to continue school after your eligibility has expired

    should be standard in every athletic football scholarship.  The fact that isn't speaks to how corrupt the current system is.  

    •  These (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, JesseCW

      are all benefits that have been endorsed and voted on by the NCAA but, unfortunately, the schools that can afford those benefits get voted down by the smaller schools that cannot.

      But, good news, this week they changed the governance structure so the rich schools can now out vote the smalls.

      So, leagues like the Big Ten have wanted to pay the athletes an extra stipend of 3-5k/yr to cover full costs and lifetime tuition and the rest, and now they will be able to do it.

      Some schools do it the right way, but there are culprits...that needs to be exposed.

  •  Anything that throws a wrench (4+ / 0-)

    into the gears of the college sports machine is alright with me.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:40:27 PM PDT

  •  This could (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie

    sink non-revenue sports like field hockey, swimming, crew, ect.

    Women's sports are non-revenue, and they will have to go away, and with them, mens sports.

    In the end, you have thousands of talented young people that do get free educations, most whom do not expect to do their sport after college and excel is academics.

    The irony is that the NW QB who testified, said that NW treats them very well, and most of his teammates did not want to pursue this, but he has opened pandoras box, and it could kill the golden goose.

    All we hear about are the abuses, but at many Big Ten schools like NW and Iowa, these athletes do graduate, some with honors, and go to med school and other grad programs....they are going to be out of luck in the future.

    NW lost 13 million on athletics last year...so they probably will just eliminate sports and not have to put all those women and men thru college anymore...and this is so much better?

    The value of their education is at least 350k-400k at NW.
    Now they will foot the bill themselves, but most will not be able to afford it. ....tough.

    Some schools are sports factories that do not graduate kids with worthy degrees, but the rest need to be eliminated due to the bad apples? Shame.

    College sports is an industry...part of the entertainment industry....many people's employment is linked to it...they must go also....lets celebrate.

    •  I attended a Division III school (0+ / 0-)

      We still had women's sports.

      Amusingly, you'd get weird variations in ability. So for example, the women's fencing team had women who had first learned to fence that same week... and also someone who had competed for her national Team. :-)

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:12:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not for me (0+ / 0-)

    I don't want to see any more professional games.  

    Penn State has a new coach and this coach excites me after 50 years in the dark ages, but I will not attend a Penn State game unless players are students and required to graduate (at a high rate).

  •  Let's put some hard data into the mix. (0+ / 0-)

    USA Today provided 2012 numbers for revenue, expenses, and subsidy-by-university across all of Division I.

    The NCAA recently released its latest review of Division I members' financial status.

    Here's the hard fact:

    Only 23 programs (all in the FBS) reported positive net generated revenue in 2012, the same number as in 2011. That number has ranged between 18 and 25 since 2004.
    There are 340 schools in NCAA Division I.  Even with the subsidies received from their universities' general funds (go sort that USA Today table by "Total Subsidy" - 95 Division I athletic programs received more than $10 million in subsidies), less than 10% of Division I programs broke even.

    So, as you talk about what level of additional compensation athletes should receive, realize that more than 90% of Division 1 programs are running "in the red" EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:03:54 PM PDT

    •  bad stat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      340 Div 1 basketball, only 120 div 1 football.  Apples and oranges.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:43:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

        ...there are 128 Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as 1-A), 124 Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as 1-AA), and 98 non-football D1 schools.

        It's very much apples-to-apples - they've all chosen to participate as Division I members.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:57:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup, sorry (0+ / 0-)

          lost count at 120.  And I should know better since my daughters school - UMASS  - was one of the most recent to move up.

          But the study with the 23 AD that showed a profit (KSU was one of them) was limited to FBS (old Di 1-A) so your stat should be 23 of 128, not 23 of 340.  340 (lost the ball on that number too) is D1 basketball.

          It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

          by ksuwildkat on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:20:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're Wrong (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ksuwildkat

            According to the NCAA report, at least as I read it, 23 programs as a whole made money, and all of them were in the FBS. And that makes sense: only about half of the football and basketball programs make money, so trying to sustain a full athletics program on just one of them is tough. The average D1 college spends $12.2 million subsidizing athletics every year.

            The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason (www.limbaughbook.com).

            by JohnKWilson on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:24:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, it shouldn't - the point is... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ksuwildkat

            ...that none but those 23--in all of Division I--ran in the black.  The report to which I linked explicitly covered all 340 Division I schools, with 100% participation.

            Grab a copy of the NCAA report.  Here are the money quotes for FBS, FCS and non-football D1 schools:

            A total of 23 FBS athletics programs reported positive net generated revenues in both 2011 and 2012. It should be noted, however, that the 23 profitable programs are not the same for the two reporting years.

            * As in previous years, no FCS athletics programs reported net generated revenues in 2011. The median negative net generated revenue (expenses in excess of generated revenues) in 2011 was $9,581,000 and $10,219,000 in 2012. The net losses have increased fairly steadily over the nine -year period.

            No athletics program in this subdivision [D1-no football] has reported net generated revenues since 2004, when one reported small net generated revenues for 2004. The median negative net generated revenue (expenses in excess of generated revenues) in 2012 was $9,809,000. The net losses have increased steadily over the nine-year period, from $5,367,000 in 2004.

            For the difference between the 23 "break even" FBS programs and the rest of the FBS, here you go:
            • The median net generated revenues for those surplus programs was $8,976,000 in 2011 and $5,419,000 in 2012, while the median net deficit for the remaining programs was $12,140,000 in 2011 and $14,645,000 in 2012. The gap between the financially successful programs and others dropped to $20,000,000 in 2012 from $21,000,000 in 2011.
            So, here's the full picture of Division I programs:

            FBS #1: 23 in the black, median surplus $5.4 million in 2012.
            FBS #2: 105 in the red, median deficit $14.6 million in 2012.
            FCS: 124 in the red, median deficit $10.2 million in 2012.
            Non-football: 98 in the red, median deficit $9.8 million in 2012.

            Check the report - all the stats are there.  

            By the way, the number of members has changed since this report was written; according to the NCAA's Sports Sponsorship and Participation Report, the 2012-13 Division I numbers (including provisional members) are 121 FBS, 126 FCS and 99 non-football.

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:28:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Absolutely right (0+ / 0-)

              but completely different than what I read last year with the Big East split.  I can't find the report right now but Marquette, Georgetown, Butler and Gonzaga (from memory) all made a profit from basketball alone.  And also from memory Marquette ran their women's programs at a tiny profit.  I think UCONN and Tenn are the only other schools that manage that.  Ill see if I can find it.

              It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

              by ksuwildkat on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:16:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'll say it again - read the report. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ksuwildkat

                To your point about individual sports breaking even, here's the summary info...

                FBS:

                Between 50 and 60 percent of football and men’s basketball programs have reported net generated revenues (surpluses) for each of the nine years reported. This percentage has been relatively stable as has the dollar amount.
                FCS:
                Only 3 percent of football and men’s basketball programs, and 1 percent of women’s basketball programs reported net generated revenues (surpluses) for 2012, which was consistent with recent years. These net generated revenues were minimal, however the median losses for the remaining programs in 2012 are $1,961,000 for football, $759,000 for men’s basketball, and $891,000 for women’s basketball.
                Non-football D1:
                Between 5 and 10 percent of men’s basketball programs reported net generated revenues (surpluses) for each of the nine years, moving from $704,000 in 2004 to almost $424,000 in 2012. Women’s basketball losses have grown from $686,000 in 2004 to $1,131,000 in 2012.
                So, yes, there are individual football and basketball programs that run in the black, but we're talking about entire athletics programs, not individual sports.

                It should also be pointed out that private schools do not have to release as much financial data as do public institutions, so there's a level of opacity at play whenever we talk about those schools.

                Nonetheless, my original point holds true - less than 10% of NCAA Division I athletic programs run in the black in any given year.

                I really don't know why you're arguing this point - the numbers I'm providing from the NCAA are comprehensive and clear.

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 07:31:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  To me, part of the answer is simple. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, 6412093, HCKAD

    Take a small cut from TV/broadcast/media-rights revenues and put the money in a trust fund.  Do the same for anything sold directly by the school, conference or NCAA - jerseys, DVDs, books, whatever.

    Once an athlete's name or image is used through these contracted/licensed mechanisms--regardless of sport--they become eligible to receive money from the trust.  They will receive some small amount as a monthly stipend while still enrolled and eligible, and a lump-sum payment at the conclusion of their eligibility.

    So, any athlete appearing in a broadcast athletic event would be eligible to draw from the trust, whether that broadcast was a national TV network, a conference network, or the school's local "BigU Sports Network."

    This would leave out a few athletes in the "lesser" sports--for instance, there aren't too many schools who include their tennis teams in their broadcast contracts--but, then again, the school isn't making ANY money off the athlete in that case, either...

    So, what would this look like? For reference purposes:

    * the current CBS/Turner contract to broadcast the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, signed in 2010, will pay the NCAA almost $11 BILLION over 14 years. That's more than $775 million/year.

    * The 5 largest conference media deals are:
         - Pac-12: $250 million/year
         - Big Ten: $248 million/year
         - ACC: $240 million/year
         - SEC: $205 million/year
         - Big 12: $200 million/year
    Total: $1.15 billion/year.

    * The University of Kentucky Athletic Association received media rights and sponsorship payments in 2011 totalling $11.9 million.

    So, putting even 5% of those revenues in an interest-bearing trust would give us a starting endowment of $96 million - and that isn't even counting the media revenues from smaller conferences or individual NCAA member schools. (In this case, Kentucky's contribution would be $595,000)

    Yeah, I think we could do some good things with that...

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:42:05 PM PDT

  •  To deny the right to organize is unacceptable. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093, JohnKWilson, JesseCW

    I still say Support College Athletes Players Association (CAPA).  I am glad that I am not alone in my happiness that NLRB ruled as it did today.

    Shame on Northwestern University for refusing to allow this ruling to stand unopposed.

    Shame on those characters who put up anti-union and anti-collective bargaining sentiment or just plain drivel.

    We yesterday celebrated the 103rd anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that happened because the "employees" were denied collective bargaining rights, thereby having no power to change the conditions that killed them. Yesterday's theme was "We Are All Workers, in recognition of the struggle of workers everywhere to find safety & dignity." All athletes are workers. period.

    The college athletes also deserve collective bargaining rights and the dignity to which each human person is entitled simply because each one is a human person. It is said that "A just society can become a reality only when it is based on the respect of the transcendent dignity of the human person." In this context, "The person represents the ultimate end of society, by which it is ordered to the person: 'Hence, the social order and its development must invariably work to the benefit of the human person, since the order of things is to be subordinate to the order of persons, and not the other way around'."

    It is also clearly stated about "The importance of unions" that "Such organizations, while pursuing their specific purpose with regard to the common good, are a positive influence for social order and solidarity, and are therefore an indispensable element of social life. "

    It is written, "the world of work must be marked by cooperation: hatred and attempts to eliminate the other are completely unacceptable."

    Word.

    .

  •  International Bill of Human Rights is relevant. (0+ / 0-)

    Does the NCAA oppose International Bill of Human Rights (IBHR)? It has the force of international law since 1976.

    IBHR is a composite of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), The Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).  In 1992 the United States ratified the ICCPR and has signed (1977) but not ratified the ICESCR.

    UDHR Article 23 in part says: "Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself (and herself) and his (or her) family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection." Article 23 also states, "Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his (or her) interests." The UDHR is explicitly adopted for the purpose of defining the meaning of the words "fundamental freedoms" and "human rights" appearing in the United Nations Charter, that binds all member states. United States was the primary moving force to draft and in 1948 to adopt in United Nations General Assembly this global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. Is NCAA going to prevail in assertion that athletes do not work?

    By the 1992 U.S. ratification of ICCPR (a treaty) the U.S. holds it a "supreme law of the land" under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. ICCPR is monitored by the United Nations Human Rights Committee which reviews regular reports of States parties on how the rights are being implemented. ICCPR Article 22 is clear: everyone has the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of one's interests. The only restrictions on the right are those which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. Under the ICCPR, any restrictions on trade unions must be necessary to a democratic society. Will NCAA propose that to deny athletes the ability to organize themselves in a labor union is necessary in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others? Is that the NCAA position?

    ICESCR Article 7  states that everyone has a right to "just and favorable" working conditions that are defined as: fair wages with equal pay for equal work, sufficient to provide a decent living for workers and their dependents; safe working conditions; equal opportunity in the workplace; and sufficient rest and leisure, including limited working hours and regular, paid holidays. Article 8 assures workers can form or join trade unions and protects the right to strike. Like Cuba and South Afric the U.S. has refused to ratify ICESCR. Does the NCAA oppose letting the athletes organize or join a union because in its doing so, NCAA is expressing its solidarity with Cuba and South Africa?

    Is the NCAA opposing the athletes who want to organize because ICESCR Article 9 mandates "the right of everyone to social security, including social insurance," requiring States parties: to provide some form of social insurance scheme to protect people against the risks of sickness, disability, maternity, employment injury, unemployment or old age; to provide for survivors, orphans, and those who cannot afford health care; and to ensure that families are adequately supported??? Or is the opposition by NCAA because it does not want athletes to have what ICESCR Article 11 recognizes as the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living and to a continuous improvement of living condition which is in Article 12 said to include the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, through a comprehensive system of healthcare, which is available to everyone without discrimination, and economically accessible to all. Does NCAA oppose those standards?

    We all should support the athletes in their quest to form a union no matter what negative arguments the NCAA propounds.

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