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Ohio State free safety Aaron Grant catches a pass but drops the ball when tackled by Minnesota corner back Traye Simmons - making the pass incomplete - during the second half of a 2008 home game. The Buckeyes beat the Gophers 34-21.
Republicans are always all about markets and free choice right up until they're not, and the moment they're not somehow always turns out to be about workers choosing to join together to get more from their employers, or women exercising control over their own bodies. So it's not a big surprise that Ohio Republicans are trying to prevent athletes at state colleges and universities from unionizing.

Northwestern University is currently appealing a National Labor Relations Board decision that its football players are employees who are eligible to unionize. That decision would only apply to private universities, though, so the Ohio legislature is trying to be proactive about keeping the state's college athletes fully exploitable:

An Ohio House committee added an amendment to a state budget bill Monday that says students attending state universities in Ohio "are not public employees based upon participating in athletics for the state university."
If passed, this wouldn't be binding; this question isn't up to the legislature, but to the state labor board. Still, Travis Waldron argues that such policies could hurt teams:
While Republicans often tout the benefits of right-to-work laws and other anti-union policies, the better benefits negotiated by organized workers can make certain places more attractive to workers. That could certainly be the case in college football, where unions could lead to benefits — better scholarship protections, full cost-of-attendance scholarships, better educational opportunities, better health care coverage, and, eventually perhaps, better compensation — at certain programs that either force non-unionized programs to follow along or face a competitive disadvantage in trying to attract players. In Connecticut, for instance, lawmakers are already exploring how to make unionization possible for their athletes. Ohio’s top schools may be at a disadvantage if unionized programs in other states are offering better benefits.
Here's hoping!

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Central Ohio Kossacks and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The right of assembly is NOT just a religion thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ckntfld, pickandshovel, sturunner
  •  Good cop, Bad cop games (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Ckntfld

    Kasich is facing reelection this year and is working hard to run for POTUS in 2016. He's trying to pretend he's a "moderate" so he can win Cuyahoga County.

    So he and his fellow GOP Cro Mags in the Ohio GA have cooked up this ridiculous game of Good Cop/Bad Cop.  The House Cro Mags churn out their usual radical junk legislation, then a few days later, Kasich "rescues" us by "criticizing" it.  Uh huh, that liberal Kasich,  the one who gleefully signed SB 5.

    Watch for more of this ridiculous game until the Ohio GA recesses at the end of May or early June.

    Hopefully, Kasich will lose, though ODP just hired some conservaDem former OFA hack from out of state to run the Ohio Democratic Party. With bad moves like that, Kasich may win reelection.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:00:29 PM PDT

    •  Kasich has zero chance of "winning" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharkmeister, MI Sooner

      Cuyahoga County, and I sincerely hope that's his strategy because it's his ticket to being a one-term governor. he won't come close to carrying FitzGerald's home base. FitzGerald is no Lee Fisher, and even Fisher carried the county, although he underperformed the rest of the ticket.

      Who is the conservaDem hack, Betty? I thought they promoted Liz Walters to the job. Did she leave already? And they brought back Lauren Harmon who used to run the Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus to run the coordinated campaign. She's terrific, and so is Liz, presuming she's still running the ODP.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 06:20:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I went and looked and it seems like (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharkmeister, nellgwen

        Liz, who was appointed to the job in January, is STILL executive director, at least online. Did they just hire someone brand new? If you have some inside knowledge, let us know. Kyle McDermott left in October, Liz Brown was interim executive director, then Liz Walters got the job. I hope you are wrong about this because i think Liz is terrific. (Both Lizzes, actually).

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 06:23:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  While It's a Bummer a Black Kenyan is President (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and poor people can sometimes vote in Ohio, messing with the Buckeyes is a whole nuther matter.

    THAT'S serious business.

    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 Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:36:07 PM PDT

  •  All it takes is a few key players (0+ / 0-)

    refusing to suit up for a big game at the beginning of the season until the Athletic director and school board signs an agreement.

    Without a star QB, RB and WR the game, and possibly the season, would be lost.   Costing the school millions.

    The players have more power than they know.

    Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

    by AppleP on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:57:06 PM PDT

  •  uions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharkmeister, BeninSC, nellgwen

    I would hope so.

    •  Time will tell which way this will go. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharkmeister, TRPChicago

      Of course, if schools negotiated prior to any formal unionization they could forestall this, or prevent it outright. Hard to believe they will, though. Not how the world works.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

      by BeninSC on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 06:51:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  20 years ago... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BeninSC, gffish

        Most would have said this is not a problem, but the levels of money have gotten insane and the athletes get so small a pittance while colleges and media are rolling in so very much money.

        Basic fairness demands that athletes get compensated on a scale equivalent to their contributions.

        the Clear Light is the consciousness of the quantum vacuum

        by Sharkmeister on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 07:11:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Are you listening, construction trades? (5+ / 0-)

    Ohio Republicans HATE unions, and they are licking their chops thinking about how they're going to do right to work the second the election is over.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

    by anastasia p on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 06:09:04 PM PDT

    •  If they endorse Kasich (4+ / 0-)

      Then it is a bit like signing your own death warrant.   Kasich is doing everything possible to end union supports in his state.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 06:34:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but this particular situation poses an (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharkmeister, gffish

        inteeresting potential quandary. Ohio (well, Ohio Repubs and the Ohioans that vote vote them) HATES unions. However, as fanatically as they may hate unions, they are even more passionate about their Buckeyes. If they see a talent drain developing whereby the best, brightest, and brawniest are being wooed away to union-friendly, schools, well... let's just say I'm looking forward to watching them squirm on the knife-point of that dilemma :-)

        Interesting place to live, Ohio. Only place I've ever lived that has an atheists support group. They're darn close to needing one for non-Buckeye fans, too.

  •  Let's preserve the purity of college athletics... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, nellgwen, gffish

    by making sure the athletes themselves are the only ones who don't make billion$.

    the Clear Light is the consciousness of the quantum vacuum

    by Sharkmeister on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 06:14:34 PM PDT

  •  But of course they are--they're Republicans n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharkmeister, nellgwen

    "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." - John F. Kennedy

    by boofdah on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 06:18:17 PM PDT

  •  Ms Laura, the question should be (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharkmeister, nellgwen, Piren, pdkesq, gffish

    if they are not employees of the University, on what basis are their expenses paid using State funds?  

    Are they covered by state sponsored university healthcare?  

    Are they covered by state sponsored disability insurance?

    If they are not state employees, what rights do they have to protect them from the improper advances of a coach in a locker room?

    I doubt if the courts will see their status the same way the legislature will see it.

    We will never be free from fear as long as we fear the NRA.

    by captainlaser on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 06:22:55 PM PDT

  •  Selling your skills 101. Getting top dollar for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharkmeister, Piren, gffish

    your skills. 101.

    Forming a non-profit for college football players' retirement fund 101.

    Free market football.

  •  McGahee... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharkmeister, gffish

    Brutal hit.   For a while they thought it destroyed his knee.  That one play cost him millions.

    Football.   His ability to get disability insurance from the U that would cover losses? None.
    His ability to get coverage if something worse happened?  Minimal.

    Northwestern remembers that in 2001, a player died during practice.


    Heat Stroke has killed other players.


    Despite the right wing complaint 'this would be an end of all sports', we haven't ended construction or pro-football due to unions.

    But they have worked on player safety and provided funds in case something goes wrong.  

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 06:37:23 PM PDT

  •  Rick Snyder and the Republicans achieved (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharkmeister, nellgwen, gffish

    denying all graduate students at Michigan universities the right to unionize by legislative action in the first or second year of Snyder's administration.

  •  Kos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have any comments about Calif. ? in how student athletes are treated in Calif. Just wondering as a Calli person myself.

  •  This had been running around my brain for weeks (4+ / 0-)

    Can you imagine the anguish and cognative dissonance if the SEC, based in the union hating southeast, suddenly cannot compete with places like Washington State, UCLA, and Syracuse, because they can't offer as much to the semi-pro players?

    On a related note, The Northwestern board of directors has threatened to shut down the football team if they unionize.  I hope someone at Northwestern's law school sent an e-mail explaining how many laws that stunt would violate, and how much they could be sued for.

    •  well, the opposition to union is well established (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharkmeister, gffish

      with the help of these state funded unis who put their sports logos on those anti union rw radio megaphones

      limbaugh stations: wash state 2, ucla 1 (not sure about that now), syracuse 5 plus numerous other hate union rw stations

      suporters for unionizing could protest at no better place than those radio stations

      which were used to influence who was on those boards, who are those regents, and who are those chancellors

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 09:06:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just when you thought the crazies had run out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of batshit ideas, here they come again! OMG, someone whose views we disagree with might be able to do something. How can we prevent it? (Hands flutter under chin)
    Whew, do they have a secret agency that generates this stuff?
    Freedumb! (For whatever we want; the rest of you wusses go screw yerselves.) Due process? Ha!  Fair pay? Safe working conditions? Who cares, I got mine.

    "Takes more than guns to kill a man" Joe Hill

    by sajiocity on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 08:36:01 PM PDT

  •  So much for freedom and relief from the ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... oppressive hand of government.

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

    by TRPChicago on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 08:45:24 PM PDT

  •  ohio state endorses 6 limbaugh stations that hate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    unions and have likely been doing so for many years, and at the same time have been parasitizing the ohio state sports teams.

    it amazes me that this connection is not recognized.

    those republican assholes have nothing with outright wing radio (really) and probably 30- 40% of rw radio stations are parasitizing our state funded unis!

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 08:54:10 PM PDT

  •  THIS SAYS IT ALL..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    REPUBLICANS come in 2 flavors----

    1)   a really really rich man who wants everything to stay the same because he is a really really rich man

    2)   everyone else like the rubes at the VW union election who are TRICKED into not understanding what is in their own interest

  •  All the SEC states will pass laws banning unions (0+ / 0-)

    ... for players, as a preemptive strike.

    (Actually, we could just leave that statement as 'All the SEC states will pass laws banning unions' without any qualifiers or explanations, and that about covers it.)

    Whatever is established as 'the going rate' at unionized schools, the SEC schools will simply continue to outbid the Northern schools with under-the-table cash, as is the common practice now.

    But player unions will be banned by law. It will give the GOPbaggers a special kind of thrill to pass a law in which they can say they have 'outlawed unions.'

    That's their overall goal -- to get rid of all unions, completely.

  •  I was watching the broadcast. . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . .of the Senate Finance Committee hearings on income tax preparer regulation.  One of the Republican Senators waxed poetic about the NLRB decision and questioned Commissioner Koskinen (IRS) about guidance that he received from IRS concerning the distinction between employees and scholarship athletes.  The guy would not leave it alone. He was after something, but he didn't appear to get it from the commissioner.  

    I found it crudely amusing, though, that despite the subject of the meeting, tax return preparers, all the Republicans talked about was "TARGETING". (The IRS Commissioner's comment that the report on IRS  (Bengazi) 501-C4 investigations did not contain the term targeting.)

    If I did that in a meeting, well. . . .And they get paid more than I do.  Oh! The wonder of it!  It is no wonder people wonder if those souls are worth anything.

    If we are going to elect Democrats, lets elect real ones!

    by waztec on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 08:44:51 AM PDT

  •  Student atheletes shouldn't unionize (0+ / 0-)

    Rather, the schools should spin off the teams into proper minor league for-profit franchises and employ them.  What possible benefit are these teams to the schools except money makers?  Let's just call them what they are, revenue sources from the licensing of sports gear.

  •  college athletes unionizing is rediculous. (0+ / 0-)

    First they are suppose to be in college to get an education, and they got to college by getting a scholarships (which is pay). Besides college athletes get lots of benefits paid by alums.

    If they want pay go directly to the pros.

    •  As the parent of a former Division I athlete (0+ / 0-)

      and a college professor myself, I can affirm that even the so-called full scholarships given to athletes in the glamour sports (football and men's basketball) do not cover all the expenses they incur while in college.  Their intensive practice, work-out, and film viewing schedules prevent Division I athletes from having any regular employment to earn money to cover expenses not covered by their scholarship (like money to go on a date or to travel home during the season to visit a dying relative).  Injuries incurred while playing the sport can lead to long-term rehabilitation which is needed after one's eligibility has expired, an enormous expense not covered by a scholarship.  

      If players accept benefits from alumni, they are jeopardizing their own eligibility and could cause the NCAA to level penalties on their team which could result in a bowl ban or being barred from playing in March Madness.  Due to agreements between the NCAA and professional sports, a basketball player may turn pro after one season of college play, but a football player cannot become a college football player until three years after their high school graduation.  Baseball player must either turn pro immediately after high school, or play three years of college baseball before turning pro.

      College athletes are exploited.  They need a union.

  •  Unions (0+ / 0-)

    Here is an idea.  Since social conservatives feel that Blacks are lazy, shiftless, and unintellegent, let's see how long the NCAA (not the NAACP) would exist without them.  Especially the SEC!

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