College Football Workers Union? Where Are the Morals?

When people write on a topic, we normally assume that they have some experience in the field. You don’t go to a doctor and ask her about landscaping, just like you wouldn’t go to a gardener and ask him about your cold. The more experience someone has in a field, the more we are willing to trust them. Whether they are right or not, the greater experience warrants greater respect. So, I’m going to lead this post by saying that I played NCAA college football.

No, I wasn’t the best. I wouldn’t even say that I was very good, but I had just enough talent to put on some shoulder pads and play at the next level. I wish that I could say I was even good enough to get a good scholarship, but I wasn’t. In fact, this was the undoing of my football career; I had to quit playing to get a job.

That was a crushing moment in my life. Since I was in diapers, all I wanted to do was play college football. Unfortunately, the money wasn’t there, so I couldn’t be either.

A lot of buzz has occurred over the Northwestern football team. Their Quarterback, Kain Colter, has formed a petition that would allow their team to unionize. It sounds strange when you really think about it, athletes forming a union?” At least, it does until you realize that the NFL did that a long time ago.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who have:
A) No idea about the NCAA
B) Don’t realize what these athletes have to do and go through
C) Don’t think that they should be able to unionize

So what if the NFL unionized? These are a bunch of kids just playing a sport,” argue many.

First off, we can’t call them kids when they’re on the field, and then adults when they break the law. Likewise, we can’t call them kids while their university puts them thousands of dollars in debt. How childlike are they when they make millions of dollars for their university?

Clemson Tide – $123,769,841
Longhorns - $120,288,370
Buckeyes - $115,737,022

The truth is that they’re not kids. They are grown adults making other people millions of dollars. And since the definition of a worker is someone who produces specified work to achieve a gain for someone, I’d say that these “kids” fit the category.

“Well ya, they make money for their university, but they get scholarships!” many will retort.

That’s true; however, at a Division I university, the college is only allowed to give away 85 full ride scholarships. With many DI universities charging 20,000 dollars for room, board, and tuition the total scholarships given would cost 1,700,000 dollars. Compare that to the above costs and you get some shady numbers. In fact, in 2008 the University of Texas claimed around $5,000,000 in “profit” from the football programs; and that’s with the millions they spent on (quote unquote) extras.

But it’s not just 85 players are making millions of dollars for their university. It’s that there are roughly 150 players putting in between 30 and 40 hours of work each week; 65 of which are doing it for free.

Here’s an example for you.

Let’s go down the road a bit, say 4 years, after an athlete has completed his career. If an athlete doesn’t go pro, like most don’t, then he has to rely on the degree he got. But, just for kicks and giggles, let’s say that he suffered a concussion during his career. So, now he has to deal with the inhibiting factor of an injury for the rest of his life. Let’s liven things up and say that he couldn’t work because he was on the field for 40 hours a week, so now he has accumulated thousands of dollars in debt. Do you envy his predicament? It’s even worse when you factor in the profit that their school made.

So here’s the million dollar question:
How can it be okay for a University to make millions off of students, almost half of whom don’t get paid, and then dump them out 4 years later mangled and without any help? The moral truth is that it’s NOT OKAY!

For crying out loud people, NCAA football players are treated like money making cows; being herded in and out of stadiums with extreme rules and little pay out. We like to think that the NCAA is there to help athletes from being abused, but in most cases the NCAA is the abuser!

So when Northwestern wants to form a union to supply pay for athletes, health benefits, and a security that is well deserved I say, GO FOR IT.

It’s the least that these multi-million dollar profit companies can do for their cattle.

Northwestern has gotten their players union, it's only a matter of time before everyone else gets theirs too.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

The Accute Effects Of Different Squat Intensities on Vertical Jump Performances
The Accute Effects of Different Squat Intensities On Jump Performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.