going above and beyond
- Jun 18, 2004
- retired computer geek
a group of Northwestern players began the process of forming a labor union. They’re hoping to be recognized as employees of their university rather than the student-athletes they currently are.
Their main demand is to better the current medical conditions offered to collegiate athletes. Typically, those that defend the NCAA and argue that student athletes get a free education, forget that these athletes can lose their scholarships if they get hurt and can no longer perform. CAPA would work to change that, as well as give players better concussion protection; a very relevant demand considering the new information we continue to learn about head injuries’ effect on football players.
Their main argument – that they’re already treated like employees already, and should be compensated as such – is a valid one. Between mandatory meetings, practice, games, and travel — in addition to a traditional college workload – participating in a sport is a full-time job. For football players, there’s little time or opportunity to find additional work outside of their sport…a sport that currently generates more than $5 billion for the major conferences alone.
“Players are not complaining about this arrangement,” [National Labor Relations Board National Political Director Tim] Waters said of the 40-plus-hour work weeks being devoted by players to their sport. “They’re just calling it what it is — pay for play.”