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Thread: U.S. NLRB Rules Northwestern College Football Players are Employees, and Can Unionize

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by SONNY WERBLIN View Post
    One of the reasons they won the right to unionize was because they are paid in the form of tuition and room and board. This is what qualified them as "employees" under the act. They also proved that while they are called "student-athletes", in every aspect the "athlete" part comes first; like they can't take a class that would conflict with the football practice schedule, or if they can no longer play football due to an injury they lose their scholarship. Most people are not aware of the fact that the college has no obligation to pay a players medical bills. So, if a player suffers a serious and/or permanent injury, the player is looking at trying to figure out how to pay for rehab and potentially has a lifetime of medical bills.

    I am by no means a pro-union guy, but in this instance the college players need a voice. Unions are needed when the balance of power in an industry is skewed against the "work-force". This is what happens when a large group of individuals legitimately feel they are being taken advantage of and have no say. This is exactly how it happened in professional sports and with the mine workers. This is not like the Wal-mart battle where a Union is trying to get in to increase it's power and dues paying members. The people at fault here are the NCAA and colleges for failing to create a mechanism to allow them to consider, in a meaningful way, the concerns of the people involved. The same people they so shamefully and disingenuously contend are the most important part of the system, the players, ... ahemm I mean athlete-students.
    And I can see schools where the sport doesn't pay for itself gets axed. I agree something needs to be done but this will kill a lot of college sports. Also, as was brought up on Mike and Mike, this "income" to these new employees will be taxed. So what will the 3rd string guard due with a 75 grand tax bill?

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycuse View Post
    The decision will be overturned. The NLRB is currently comprised of individuals recess appointed by Obama. The catch is that he recess appointed them when Congres wasn't in recess. When SCOTUS rules this action unconstitutional in a few months, all the decisions the NLRB made s currently constituted will be overturned.
    this, plus he loaded it up with leftwing union nutjobs. Ridiculous ruling that will cause more problems.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Yet you're well aware why those rules exist.

    Far too many schools won because their boosters got players "jobs" that paid them massive boatloads of cash for doing....nothing.

    In a competative environment, thats a competative advantage, and was viewed as bad pretty much all around.

    Again, I'll stress this, because I feel strongly about it:

    The problem is not school, or sports. The problem is School running a de facto Professional Billion Dollar Sports League, with completely different rules for athletes who, in the majority, are clearly not there for the education.

    The lure of that very same money (which for a select few huge schools does indeed subsidize other sports) has corrupted the entire system, and created a situation where schools, funded in the majority by taxpayers for education, and also running a de facto sports and entertainment business on the side, Las vegas style.

    The problem is college sports shouldn't be professional sports, it should be an add-on for learning and exercise for college students (students there to learn like all the other students), not a minor league for the Pro Football and Basketball leagues that those leagues are too cheap to pay for themselves.

    With all due respect, a good 50% of Div. I college Athletes have no chance of any kind fo getting into their schools for their brains, and the dropout and no-graduation rate proves that out.

    End College Pro Sports, return it to what it was intended to be, and let the NBA and NFL follow MLB's example, and create legitimate, professional, paid and insured leagues for these kids to grow and develop (and earn money and be protected from injury) in. Thats how Baseball does it, thats how European Soccer does it, thats how it should be done.

    And if a kid IS Smart enough to get an education and wants to play sports, he can do both, like any other Major in college, working and learning, together, but by seperate entities.
    +1

    This will also help smaller cities in getting "minor league" franchises, thus contributing to the local economy.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    this, plus he loaded it up with leftwing union nutjobs. Ridiculous ruling that will cause more problems.
    Hey, it's Wisconsin. If not there, then No. California.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chesapeakejet View Post
    Hey, it's Wisconsin. If not there, then No. California.
    geography aside, it is what it is

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    Not exactly. Big-time Football at Harvard: 1905 details how things were over a hundred years ago, with paying players and ignoring academics.

    It's a corrupt system, and it always has been. There is no purity or innocence being lost, except in the mind of naive fans who didn't want to know about the exploitation of young men for their entertainment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 24 View Post
    In that case, start paying them.
    If the union thing became law union dues go to the Dems plus the players would now have to pay tax on what they earn including tuition.. I could just see a team going on strike with a big game coming up.. And if they get hurt they always can lean on that great program Obamacare..LOL

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by fukushimajin View Post
    In any case, change is coming to the NCAA and its about time. I always thought that non-student adults going to college games was weird -- and with the TV ratings, it seems like lots of people obsess over schools they never went to. Why?
    Welcome to the SEC fan base. I guess it's because for too many years the southeast had nothing. Atlanta sports teams were the only ticket in town for 7-8 states and still those "fans" could never actually go watch their teams because of time and distance. Not to mention that the Falcons have sucked for the better part of their existence. So I'm guessing that that is a huge reason for the obsession with college football in the southeast, for sure. But, it has benefited the fans hear. The popularity is enormous and the ratings are awesome. This leads to huge tv contracts for the SEC between them and ESPN and ESPN telling us (the general public) that the SEC is the best every year.

  9. #49
    To clarify some other points here:

    1. The NLRB decision only affects private schools. It doesn't affect students at public schools although the implications under the FLSA and other federal employment laws may ultimately stick to students at public schools as well.

    2. The taxation issue isn't nearly as interesting as people seem to think it is. The scholarship, free room and board, etc. are all educational expenses that likely would be tax deductible, resulting in a zero tax liability or nearly a zero tax liability. However, the first school that sticks a student with a tax bill for a scholarship will be the first school to lose all of its athletes. If there is a tax bill to be paid, the schools will eat it.

    3. The whole issue at Northwestern started because the school didn't give proper medical treatment to the QB after he was injured. They did this one to themselves. The school generates enormous revenue off the football program but wouldn't cough up the comparatively small amount to cover medical treatment for the injury that occurred while helping the school generate all that revenue. This wasn't about students trying to turn their college play into professional-type contracts.

  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by rex-n-effect View Post
    To clarify some other points here:

    1. The NLRB decision only affects private schools. It doesn't affect students at public schools although the implications under the FLSA and other federal employment laws may ultimately stick to students at public schools as well.

    2. The taxation issue isn't nearly as interesting as people seem to think it is. The scholarship, free room and board, etc. are all educational expenses that likely would be tax deductible, resulting in a zero tax liability or nearly a zero tax liability. However, the first school that sticks a student with a tax bill for a scholarship will be the first school to lose all of its athletes. If there is a tax bill to be paid, the schools will eat it.

    3. The whole issue at Northwestern started because the school didn't give proper medical treatment to the QB after he was injured. They did this one to themselves. The school generates enormous revenue off the football program but wouldn't cough up the comparatively small amount to cover medical treatment for the injury that occurred while helping the school generate all that revenue. This wasn't about students trying to turn their college play into professional-type contracts.
    I disagree on the basis of the NCAA rules. If they had given that player money or a form of money to pay for his medical bills, they would have been hit with sanctions. I don't think it's entirely fair to point the finger at Northwestern here.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by nycuse View Post
    But the actor or English major isn't getting paid by the school.
    Doesn't matter. Kids who play NCAA sports cannot get paid by anyone more than $2,000 in a year. Kids who play NCAA sports CANNOT use their name as it relates to sports to make money.

    Johnny Manziel got in trouble for selling his autograph at a sports card show. Had nothing to do with Texas A&M paying him or not. No one can pay him.

  12. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrebetfan80 View Post
    i played college football and never once did i sit there and think "the college is profiting from my playing, i should get a cut" now granted i played at a low level school, but i think its just ridiculous to say you can pay college players. How do you divvy up the payments? What does a starter get compared to a special teamer? What do you pay a football player (a sport hat rakes in 100s of millions) as compared to a woman's field hockey player? Just because one plays football they're entitled to get paid, but another sports player isn't?

    I always felt that the students were getting paid... THEY GO TO SCHOOL FOR FREE! Guess what, i had to pay ALL of my college tuition, I didn't receive any free education for sports. The problem is these kids only look at $$$ that others are making and not them.. What they should be looking at is that their families are saving 100s of thousands of dollars for them to get degrees from colleges that without their athletic abilities they probably wouldn't have gotten into. Take advantage of going to a USC and getting a good degree instead of crying because the school raked in 200 mil last year.
    I actually think the big issue is that the players aren't covered if they get hurt. Also, arguably any player who is a walk-on should be allowed to get paid, because they aren't getting a free tuition or anything from the school.

  13. #53
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    Obama's America

  14. #54
    Sure you can. You can base compensation on the profitability of the team. As long as it is determined the same way. Think of them as commission based employees.

    **** My apologies. I just noticed the post I was quoting didn't show up. Someone posted that you would have to pay the women's field hockey team the same as the football team and I was responding to that. Sorry, new to the site.
    Last edited by JimBlaze; 03-27-2014 at 03:12 PM.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by rex-n-effect View Post
    To clarify some other points here:

    1. The NLRB decision only affects private schools. It doesn't affect students at public schools although the implications under the FLSA and other federal employment laws may ultimately stick to students at public schools as well.

    2. The taxation issue isn't nearly as interesting as people seem to think it is. The scholarship, free room and board, etc. are all educational expenses that likely would be tax deductible, resulting in a zero tax liability or nearly a zero tax liability. However, the first school that sticks a student with a tax bill for a scholarship will be the first school to lose all of its athletes. If there is a tax bill to be paid, the schools will eat it.

    3. The whole issue at Northwestern started because the school didn't give proper medical treatment to the QB after he was injured. They did this one to themselves. The school generates enormous revenue off the football program but wouldn't cough up the comparatively small amount to cover medical treatment for the injury that occurred while helping the school generate all that revenue. This wasn't about students trying to turn their college play into professional-type contracts.
    Private schools now, public later? If the program isn't paying it's own way, then it's gone. That's what will happen boys and girls. Colleges will be institutions of higher learning and that's it, zero athletics. I really think this is a HUGE can of worms that's been opened up here and the do-gooders in Wisconsin haven't thought this whole thing through.

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by BleedGreen314 View Post
    Obama's America
    I know that the term "Union" has people turning this into a "Democrat vs. Republican" issue. But, it's anything but.

    Currently, athletes in the NCAA are make money off of their most marketable skill. Currently the NCAA is allowed to rip up a scholarship if a player gets hurt, the player has no protection and will have to deal with the cost of the injury himself. Even if they were a good student before the injury, the school has no reason or need to keep a player at the school if they are hurt.

    This whole situation arises because players have no protection, are allowed to earn no money, and assume a lot of risk. Do I think unionizing is a good solution? no. However, the NCAA has buried their head in the sand and pretended for years that this wasn't their concern at all, they have assumed for decades that they wouldn't ever be responsible for this situation. If the NCAA made any real effort to find a workable solution, the unionizing situation wouldn't have been the final step.

  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by chesapeakejet View Post
    Private schools now, public later? If the program isn't paying it's own way, then it's gone. That's what will happen boys and girls. Colleges will be institutions of higher learning and that's it, zero athletics. I really think this is a HUGE can of worms that's been opened up here and the do-gooders in Wisconsin haven't thought this whole thing through.
    Not through the National Labor Relations Act because it doesn't apply to state employees, which is what the students would be at public schools.

  18. #58
    What some of you are missing is that college football programs almost always make enough money to cover the program itself, AND cover the losses of other sports programs, AND still manage to make sizable contributions to the universities academic budgets every year.

    Instead of destroying college football (and all your other college sports as a result) why not simply allow players to be paid by whomever will pay them, boosters, sponsors, etc? Will it hurt competition? Yup. Is it quick, easy, simple, and better than sacrificing billions in revenue, much of which is used to subsidize other sports and even academics? Yup. Seriously, where is the downside here?

  19. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by chesapeakejet View Post
    Private schools now, public later? If the program isn't paying it's own way, then it's gone. That's what will happen boys and girls. Colleges will be institutions of higher learning and that's it, zero athletics. I really think this is a HUGE can of worms that's been opened up here and the do-gooders in Wisconsin haven't thought this whole thing through.
    A few notes:

    1. The ruling is not, in fact, limited to private schools. The issue involved is that public school students, if employees, will (in most States) not have the right to Unionize themselves....they'd have to join the existing State Public Service Unions already in place (this will get complicated).

    2. A Lawyer on ESPN said today that, amazingly, the $50,000/year+ in compensation a Football "Employee" gets will not be taxable, because current Tax law says Scholorships are a "Grant" and immune from taxation. If thats correct, the "employee players" get the best of both worlds, they get upwards of $250,000 in tax free compensation + Healthcare all paid for by taxpayers of their schools actual Students, and the right to collectively bargain for more compensation, all tax free.

    If I had to guess, the IRS, pro-left today or not, will not be letting that stand. There is almost no form of employee compensation that is this level of tax free in it's total.

    3. I happen to agree with the players re: medical care. This (unionization and being declared employees) was not the right way to go about it.

    Personally, I loathe the NCAA and the Pro Sports College System, and will be happy to see it come crashing down in flames and be replaced by legitimate minor leagues for Football and Basketball. I have never and will never support the idea that our Universities of higher learning should be running exploitive, corrupt and for-profit vocational-style pro sports leagues on the side.

    The sooner that system is (rightfully) torn tdown, the better. I think this ruling has a ton of potential of doing just that.

  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by BleedGreen314 View Post
    Obama's America
    Ugh. If you can only see this in terms of Democrat Vs Republican than you are seriously missing the issue. The athletes unionized as a last resort. I don't agree with all of these, but it's unbelievably narrow minded to see this as some sort of "Liberal agenda" issue and nothing more.

    These are the 11 issues they are pushing:

    1. Minimize college athletes' brain trauma risks.

    2. Raise the scholarship amount.

    3. Prevent players from being stuck paying sports-related medical expenses.

    4. Increase graduation rates.

    5. Protect educational opportunities for student-athletes in good standing.

    6. Prohibit universities from using a permanent injury suffered during athletics as a reason to reduce/eliminate a scholarship.

    7. Establish and enforce uniform safety guidelines in all sports to help prevent serious injuries and avoidable deaths.

    8. Eliminate restrictions on legitimate employment and players ability to directly benefit from commercial opportunities.

    9. Prohibit the punishment of college athletes that have not committed a violation.

    10. Guarantee that college athletes are granted an athletic release from their university if they wish to transfer schools.

    11. Allow college athletes of all sports the ability to transfer schools one time without punishment.

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