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Thread: College Football Players Attempting to Unionize

  1. #11
       
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    An interesting article on the new effort. A relevant quote:

    In a Buffalo Law Review article titled “A Union of Amateurs: A Legal Blueprint to Reshape Big-Time College Athletics,” authors Nicholas Fram and Thomas Frampton make a compelling case that college athletes should be considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act, the federal law that governs labor relations at private universities.

    In a nutshell, their reasoning goes like this:

    1. Athletes generate money for universities through labor that school officials directly control;

    2. Playing sports is not a prerequisite for — and is arguably a hindrance to — earning an academic degree;

    3. Under labor law tests, both facts suggest that student-athletes are actually employees, and that play is really work.

    “Not too long ago, universities made a very similar argument to [the one they make with college athletes] to deny other employees collective bargaining rights,” Frampton told me last year. “Clerical workers. Dining Hall workers. Maintenance staff. The idea was that special circumstances at the university made it somehow separate and distinct from the sphere where real business happens, that labor law is basically confined to factory workers at a Ford plant in 1937.

    “That worked for a while, but as the economics of the modern American university made it clearer and clearer that real work was happening, the [National Labor Relations Board] rejected that. Now unions are very common at universities, and the universities have not crumpled.”
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  2. #12
       
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    The main point of the Buffalo piece is that most big football and basketball schools are public not private. And as such, are not controlled by the NLRB.

    They are controlled by state law, which in some cases (CA, MI, FL, NE) are VERY much more inclined to let student employees organize than NLRB precedent. Some others are about the same and other states less.

    Which mean that unionizing can capture a big chunk of the revenue teams, even if the NLRB says NO.

    Northwestern is private, and as such is organizing under the NLRA/NLRB.

  3. #13
       
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    If I were arguing for the University of Michigan, I would:

    - Try to make the case that the activity is play, not work. With university student teaching assistants, they activity they perform cannot be charactirized as play.

    - Make the argument that players don't get cash, just financial aid. That won't work in some of the easy states, like Florida which has exlplicit ruling for unionizing student teaching assistants that don't get paid, just financial aid, but could in others, like Michigan.

    - Make the case that federal law should take precedence, because a ruling for a Michigan football team greatly effects Ohio and Illinois and Maryland schools, unlike student teaching assistants. Invoke Commerce Clause and So. Pacific Co. v Arizona.

    -Argue that if unionized, the only negotiable points between union and school woulld be rules and conditions which are local to Michigan schools, and no rules which would contradict NCAA, as a national standardized ruleset is necessary to have intercollegiate competition. Thus most of the issues batted around in sportstalkradio are off the table, as they are national rules, not local.
    Last edited by darvon; 01-30-2014 at 08:44 PM.

  4. #14
       
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    Clearly college football is work, not play. A billion dollar industry isn't play. They'd have to be shameless to float that one.

    Once a work force is unionized, does state or federal law place limits on what can be negotiated?
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  5. The NU football players' case to unionize is moving forward:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...879,full.story
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  6. Oy. This is, um, strange...

    Over the past 100-plus years, the popularity of college football has skyrocketed. Fan interest and television viewership has risen year after year after year. As great as the NFL is, there's just something special about seeing the college boys, draped in the colors of their beloved schools, battling it out on the gridiron.

    There's a beauty to it that doesn't exist anywhere else in sports.

    As the game has grown in popularity, so has the potential for exploitation and greed. The magnanimous nature of the NCAA and its member schools has been nothing short of extraordinary. It's hard to imagine, but the game as it exists today could look very different if it weren't for the dedication of the college game's stewards to keep it purely about football, school pride, and education.

    Imagine for a moment ho
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  7. #17
       
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
    It's satire. He's on the side of the angels.

    Imagine for a moment how different the game would look if the elements of exploitation and greed were to find their way in. Imagine the offensiveness of turning on your TV one Saturday afternoon only to see that perhaps the signature collegiate uniform, the navy and gold jersey of Notre Dame, had been adorned with the tacky logo of an apparel company. Picture a college football landscape where, on a week to week basis, you had no idea what uniform your favorite team would be wearing - or if you'd even recognize them. Imagine how you'd feel if your team's uniform had been auctioned off to the highest bidder, an apparel company that would premier a new look each week in an effort to sell its own wares.
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  8. #18
    An interesting second step to this saga, not like I thought it would end at the NLRB or anything, though:

    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2014/0...l-agency-says/
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  9. #19
       
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Gapinski View Post
    An interesting second step to this saga, not like I thought it would end at the NLRB or anything, though:

    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2014/0...l-agency-says/
    A seminal day in college sports. If it holds up on appeal this has the potential to reshape college football at a minimum, and all of college sports at a maximum. The schools and the NCAA are under assault on two fronts, with this and the O'Bannon suit, and could conceivably lose on both.

    And it's their own doing. The thing which changed the status quo was the schools throwing their beloved tradition to the winds in their lust for lucre. Well, they got their money. They sowed the wind and now they must reap the whirlwind.
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  10. #20
       
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    It is interesting that sports media keeps thinking that if the players are employees then the scholarships are taxable and thus the players are screwed. Sounds like either whisper campaign by NCAA or just stupidity/wishful thinking on the part of anti-player fans.

    A student players union is going to be more powerful than the NFLPA, because they have less to lose and because the NCAA is much less legally adept than the NFL.

    Actually the NCAA is much less legally adept than most drunken sailors.

    Remember Miami. The NCAA has no clue how to find a fallback position. The only reason they have been successful in the past is that they were fighting individual students who were both transient and underfunded and scared of Pro ramifications.

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=10683126

    I love Lester Munson. He is sooo much better than Roger what's-his-name that ESPN used to use. Lester doesn't get swayed by uninformed blather, plus asks and answers the next legal question, which is a lot more than most reporters do.

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