Student athlete unions will utterly destroy college sports

April 3, 2014 

I am an unabashed fan of college football and am strongly in favor of both team and individual sports as part of a comprehensive college sports program.

Having said that, I can think of no better way to completely and utterly destroy college sports than to unionize the students who participate in them.

Football would be just the beginning, because all student athletes would qualify as "employees" under the definition offered by the NLRB Chicago, in the case brought by the football players at Northwestern University.

And what about college marching bands? By that definition, band members could also be termed employees.

Actually, although it's a bit of a stretch, even college students could qualify under that definition.

Currently, the Chicago ruling applies only to private schools, but if that holds, you know it wouldn't be long before a way to include state schools in the same category would be found.

Football would be just the first and would then, most likely, be followed by other team sports, and ultimately, by individual sports.

Can you imagine a strike being called for additional pay for play-off games, or an unfair labor practice being lodged against the coach of a team? Discipline would be greatly compromised, and would ultimately lead to dissension, dissatisfaction, and a myriad of new rules and regulations that would destroy the fabric and spirit of college sports.

Admittedly, student athletes should be treated somewhat differently than other students because of the financial contribution their activities make to their schools.

Perhaps a monthly stipend, in addition to the very valuable scholarships they receive for their effort, but unionization? God forbid!

Donald Doherty


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