Labor

College Football Unionization Decision Opens a Can of Worms

As long as most major football schools are state universities, the question of player unionization will likely be decided on political rather than strictly legal grounds.

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College football
rdesai

A National Labor Relations Board official has given the green light to Northwestern University football players to form a union. The March 26 decision by the NLRB's Chicago regional director, Peter Sung Ohr, held that scholarship football players are "employees" for purposes of federal labor law. Ohr rejected the longstanding view of Northwestern and the National Collegiate Athletic Association that players are "student-athletes" rather than employees. While Ohr's decision is hardly the final word on this issue, it does accelerate the legal and political battle against the NCAA and its century-old amateurism rules.

Is Football Academic?

Kain Colter played quarterback at Northwestern from 2010 thru 2013. In January, he joined with Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA linebacker and longtime player-rights activist, to form the College Athletic Players Association (CAPA). Backed by the United Steelworkers, CAPA petitioned the NLRB in Chicago for recognition as a collective bargaining unit representing all current Northwestern football players.

In its brief to the NLRB, Northwestern argued its football players had a "predominantly academic rather than an economic relationship with the University," and it was therefore inappropriate to classify them as employees. The scholarships players received were nothing more than financial aid designed to fund their education, "not compensation for playing football."

Northwestern relied heavily on a controversial 2004 NLRB decision refusing to recognize graduate teaching and research assistants at Brown University as employees for purposes of forming a union. In that case, the NLRB said the relationship between graduate students and the university was primarily educational, not economic, and that "the student-teacher relationship is not at all analogous to the employer-employee relationship." Ultimately, the Board concluded that any financial stipend paid to graduate students constituted a form of financial aid rather than compensation for employment.

CAPA replied the Brown University decision was not applicable here. "Football is not part of Northwestern's academic program," CAPA said in its own brief to the NLRB, noting that unlike graduate students, players "receive no academic credit for their services to the football program." CAPA urged the NLRB to adopt the common-law definition of employee, which is any "person who works for another in return for financial or other compensation."

Director Ohr agreed with CAPA. Ohr credited former quarterback Colter's testimony explaining in great detail the 40 to 50 hour weeks Northwestern players spent purely on football. Ohr added that coaches "have control over nearly every aspect of the players' private lives," including restrictions where they live, when they eat, and even what they say on social media. And while players are students who must meet certain academic requirements, their recruitment and scholarship depend on Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who is not a faculty member. More to the point, Ohr found "the players' football-related duties are unrelated to their academic studies," which means the Brown University decision does not apply. Ohr therefore concluded that football scholarships are not a form of financial aid, but compensation for services rendered to the university. Consequently, Ohr also held that non-scholarship "walk-on" players were not employees because they did not receive compensation for their football services.

The Legal Road Ahead

Despite Ohr's ringing endorsement, the college players union remains a theory. In the short term, Northwestern will appeal Ohr's finding that players are employees to the five-member NLRB in Washington. If the NLRB upholds the decision, which I suspect it will, CAPA will then conduct a union election among current scholarship players. Assuming the election favors unionization, Northwestern may still refuse to recognize the labor organization. This means a return to the NLRB, which would issue an unfair labor practices order against the university. Northwestern would then appeal that decision to either the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago or the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Whoever loses that round could then ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. By the time this all plays out, it's likely all current Northwestern players will have graduated and moved on with their lives.

And even if CAPA prevails at every stage, the precedent set would only apply to the 17 private schools in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision. The remaining 100 or so schools are public universities, which are subject to each individual state's laws regarding unionization of public employees. In other words, good luck trying to form a players union in states like Alabama.

The Political Road Ahead

While Ohr's decision makes sense on an intuitive level—players are paid to perform a service and are therefore employees—it leads to more questions than answers. For example, if players are employees, do their scholarships now constitute taxable income? Can athletic departments, many of which are organized as non-profit corporations designed to promote amateur athletics, continue to accept tax-deductible donations from alumni? And will other labor laws, including overtime and worker's compensation, now apply to football players?

For now, NCAA critics seem content to put those questions off for another day. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, speaking with the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg, praised Ohr's decision, saying, "Of course [players] should be able to organize." Reid blasted the NCAA's "unpardonable" treatment of athletes and added, "The NCAA, of course, for a long, long time has been an organization that only cares about making money."

That money, however, doesn't simply line the pockets of NCAA officials. Much of the revenue generated by college football goes to subsidize a plethora of non-revenue sports—including men's soccer, which Reid's son played at the University of Virginia, according to Steinberg—and comply with Title IX's gender-equity requirements. Northwestern, a private school without the taxpayer resources of public schools, noted it spends about $12.7 million annually to subsidize its athletic department's non-revenue offerings.

The problem for union organizers is that the non-revenue athletes (and their families) greatly outnumber the football and men's basketball players. And the revenue-sport athletes are only a microscopic fraction of the total number of students paying tuition—and, more often than not, carrying enormous student loan debt. In the eyes of the majority, the football players already receive adequate compensation—if not special privileges—through their athletic scholarships. These folks will not be receptive to a unionization movement that threatens to disturb the status quo.

That may be unfair to the football players. I agree with Harry Reid that they have every right to organize and seek improvement in their working conditions. But as long as the majority of major football schools are state-run universities, the question of player unionization will likely be decided on political rather than strictly legal grounds. After all, Congress writes the labor laws. If the Northwestern decision ultimately stands, the NCAA might simply ask legislators to exempt its athletes from the definition of "employee" under federal labor law. And despite his statements now, even a pro-union Democrat like Harry Reid may be receptive to such arguments if it means preserving the larger system of state-subsidized, non-revenue athletics.

NEXT: Rand Paul's "Divergence" and the Future of American Politics

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  1. Since last year, I’ve been saying that NCAA D1 football would not exist in 5 years. Allow players to unionize, and it will be gone the next day. The top 60 schools from the top conferences will pull out of the NCAA, and create a super league. If players unionize, then schools will get to pay them market value, and be out from under NCAA sanctions. The NFL just got a true minor league. Of course, it sucks for all the other schools who will abandon their football programs. And basketball. And volleyball. And golf. Etc.

    1. I don’t think this is going to stick and even if it does, the players won’t want to unionize since doing so will make them employees and their in kind benefits taxable incomes.

      As far as the top schools breaking away, that may happen. But they still are not going to want to pay players cash. It would cost them a fortune. Why pay players when you have a cartel that limits compensation to in kind payments?

      Also, leaving the NCAA won’t get university athletic programs out of the requirements of Title IX. Title IX would never allow them to pay male athletes and not female ones or elminate female sports. There is no way they would have the money to pay every athlete.

      1. I think the Title IX is the key. I do expect that the top 40-50 schools will shutter their football programs, and work out a deal with the affiliated booster organization to license the name and colors of the school, rent the stadium and practice facilities, and pay the athletes. As a bonus, part of the licensing agreement could be that players on the team get 15 free hours a term while in the employ of the new minor league teams.

      2. doing so will make them employees and their in kind benefits taxable incomes.

        But education expenses are deductible, so that’s a wash.

        1. Education expenses are not totally deductable. And it would be an inkind payment and taxable income.

      3. will make them employees and their in kind benefits taxable incomes.

        I’m not sure if it’s a n IRS rule or a law, but scholarships are presently not subject to the income tax.

        Of course, this is mostly because academic scholarships and athletic scholarships are treated as one and the same.

        There is a reason a private university was the guinea pig for this. Can you imagine all those public SEC universities suddenly having their precious sports jingoism subject to union work rules?

  2. http://online.wsj.com/news/art…..ding_now_5

    Depressing and scary story. The Progs are full on fascist these days.

    1. It’s not just TEAM BLUE, John. It’s all of them. The more power that there is in holding political office, the nastier and more vicious it gets, because more is at stake. That’s why when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die; when being king is at stake, anything is worth it to those who crave the throne. And this will just get worse as more and more power is in the hands of politicians. I’m honestly sort of surprised that they’re not up to killing one another yet, but I guess there’s still time for that. And of course, the little people like this woman become collateral damage.

      1. You are right. It is every prosecutor there is.

  3. Oh, for the love of Christ, just pay them.

    1. They do. And, amusingly, the private schools pay them more than the state school factories.

      1. You’re right. They do. Anyone who thinks a scholarship or free tutors isn’t pay is simply deluding themselves. They obviously have a marketable skill, let them sell it. It may not bring them much more than the price of an education, but stop acting like paying people for their skill is a) evil and b) not already happening.

        1. And they get more than a scholarship and free tutors. They get access to personal trainers and health experts and better quality dining facilities and (and sometimes) housing than the typical student. You could probably find other benefits.

      2. And, amusingly, the private schools pay them more than the state school factories.

        Totally depends on how you make the calculations. I mean, a private university education has 0% taxpayer subsidy, whereas a public university has around an 80% taxpayer subsidy.

    2. I would love for Northwestern to say, “okay…here is your $500 per month stipend. We will deduct taxes for it and your scholarship from it.”.

      1. That was supposed to be a response to number 2.

  4. I wonder if any of the players have considered this: according to the IRS tax rules, a scholarship is tax-free provided, among other things, it does not constitute payment for services rendered as a condition of receiving the scholarship.

    The football players from Northwestern have just convinced one branch of the federal government that their scholarships constitute payment for services rendered. How long will it be before another branch of the federal government shows up on their doorstep, and on the doorstep of every college football player who received a scholarship in the past seven years, and demands back income taxes? Plus interest and penalties?

    The vampire cannot enter your house unless you invite him in. But if you do, don’t complain later when he sucks you dry.

    1. Education or training paid for by the employer generally isn’t taxable anyways. The theory is that the employer is really doing it for their own benefit because it will make the employee more productive and thus constitutes a normal business expense, even if the employee happens to incidentally benefit from it.

      I know in my case, my employer paid for my entire MS in Computer Science and I didn’t pay any tax for it.

      1. That is different and is covered by a separate tax rule. The situation I am talking about is if the college that awarded you the MS paid you a “scholarship” on the condition that you taught undergrad classes. That “scholarship” would be taxable.

        1. But if they’re also your employer and require it as a condition of your employment, those expenses are all tax deductible.

    2. That’s also the NCAA’s problem. If the scholarship isn’t payment for services rendered, then the NCAA is exploiting these men. If it IS payment for services rendered, then the schools and athletes should be able to negotiate method and amount of compensation.

    3. it does not constitute payment for services rendered as a condition of receiving the scholarship

      This is true in word only. Scholarships are only given for one year. If a player is hurt or becomes academically ineligible and can’t play, they won’t get a scholarship for the next year. In that regard, it is very much conditional on services rendered.

      1. Then you are agreeing that the scholarships should be taxed as income.

        PS – the NCAA changed its rules last year to allow four-year scholarships. Apparently all of Northwestern’s scholarships are now four-year

  5. As much as I hate unions and believe that they shouldn’t exist, am I the only football-hating cosmotarian whose happy to hear this? Finally the fall of football has arrived! Hopefully basketball and baseball are next. I’d rather watch toned guys and stacked girls in tight clothes swimming anyways, especially when the slomo cam catches the girls entering the water.

    1. Oops I got swimming and diving mixed up in the last sentence. I don’t pay attention to the actual sports parts.

    2. I love college football, and I specifically love college football more than professional football.

      I still think they ought to get paid. It’s ridiculous that everyone else involved is allowed to make millions of dollars off the enterprise, but I’m supposed to believe that if we pay the players it’s the end of the universe.

        1. Nah, just the love of it.

      1. It wouldn’t end the universe. And there is nothing “rediculous” about people making more money than their employers. The only reason the universities make so much money is because they have spent decades building up their brand and product. They choose to pay players in kind rather than with cash.

        It is true that they get away with that because they are a cartel. If you believe in anti-trust law and think that the government ought to step in and break up the cartel and basically dictate how much players are paid and how the market should work, then that is a problem. I don’t, however, believe that. So I am no more bothered by this than I am bothered by corporations making billions from the patents invented by their employees. If the employees don’t like the deal, they can leave. Same here with the players. They don’t have to take the deal. Indeed, the ones who are also top baseball players and get big money offers out of high school to play pro baseball often don’t take the deal.

        1. I am not sure what you are getting at John. You say the schools are paying the players, just choosing to pay them in kind. That makes them employees then, and if they are employees I do not see why they can not avail themselves of the NLRA like any other group of employees (mind you, ideally there would be no NLRA for anyone).

          1. In a sense they are employees and probably should have to pay taxes on their in kind payments. But I am never unhappy to see someone get out of paying taxes.

            If they want to unionize, good luck to them. I am not going to say they are right or wrong either way.

        2. “So I am no more bothered by this than I am bothered by corporations making billions from the patents invented by their employees.”

          If the employees expressly understand the employee docs they signed when they were hired, perhaps. However, a lot of intelligent people who are university students and employees have very little understanding (if any) of patent law and the corner they sign themselves into.

          Greed is fine up until it becomes clever enough to engage in acts that utilizes the complexity of law in order to take advantage of people who ignorant of the law.

    3. Everyone should read this post very carefully as it exposes the true face of liberals/progressives.

      It’s not enough for this liberal to not like football and change the channel.

      He/she feels the urge to deny anyone else who may disagree with their feelings the pleasure that person receives from the sport, even though their enjoyment causes the liberal no pain or loss.

      The true face of liberals behind the mask of tolerance.

      1. What kind of liberal opposes the existence the unions? Read my username. Centrist CLASSICAL Liberal ie someone who believes in capitalism! and where did I say I wanted football to be illegal?

  6. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, speaking with the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg, praised Ohr’s decision, saying, “Of course [players] should be able to organize.” Reid blasted the NCAA’s “unpardonable” treatment of athletes and added, “The NCAA, of course, for a long, long time has been an organization that only cares about making money””

    TRANSLATION: “I expect a really, really, REALLY big campaign contribution from you turkeys if you want this fixed.”

    1. “”The NCAA, of course, for a long, long time has been an organization that only cares about making money””

      Reid, OTOH, cares nothing about personal gain. He’s only there since the voters can’t find anyone else to warm that chair.

  7. Many of the NCAA rules that are in place are indeed stupid and arcane, but unionizing the players is not the solution to the problem.

    The solution to the problem is changing the stupid rules to allow the players to make a reasonable amount of money off their name and ability, by doing things such as signing autographs, performing “community services” and such. The university wouldn’t even have to give them anything beyond what they’re giving now.

    1. But they can only make money off of their “names” because they play in the NCAA. The NCAA has every right to tell them they can’t make money off of their names as part of the bargain.

      What I don’t get is why anyone thinks this is a problem. Who cares if players get paid in cash? No one makes them take the bargain. And who cares if the NCAA makes millions? Since when is making money and driving a hard bargain with your employees a bad thing?

      1. But they can only make money off of their “names” because they play in the NCAA NBA MLB NHL NFL. The NCAA NBA MLB NHL NFL has every right to tell them they can’t make money off of their names as part of the bargain.

        Why is making money as a student bad? Isn’t that something that should be encouraged?

        1. It is not bad. If the NCAA decided to pay them tomorrow, it wouldn’t bother me. It is just no one’s business but the NCAA’s.

          Why is the NCAA choosing not to pay them cash bad? Why is it anyone’s business that they do?

          Again, you don’t support the minimum wage in any other context, so why do you support it here? If the NCAA doesn’t want to pay the players in cash, that is their right.

          1. I don’t advocate a minimum wage. I advocate a free market where each player can negotiate their own contract based upon their abilities. JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER WORKER IN THE WORLD.

            1. They can do that now. What you are complaining about is that the NCAA gets together and sets the wage scale. And that is just complaining about a cartel.

              I don’t have a problem with cartels. Their power is overrated and they sort themselves out eventually. And regardless, I don’t want the government through anti-trust law breaking them up.

              1. As though the NCAA is some sort of private group free from government subsidy. Nothing about the NCAA happens in a truly free market context.

                1. So what Tim? They are an organization of colleges. What would you change that would cause them not to want to form a cartel and cap wages?

          2. I simply don’t understand what you’re trying to say here.

            This isn’t about the NCAA pying people. It’s about the schools paying people.

            Those are not the same, and in fact, the NCAA is a completely unnecessary 3rd party, who only exists because of government intervention in the market.

            I just don’t understand why you’re so focused on the NCAA, when the SEC could break off from them tomorrow and make them obsolete in regards to football.

            1. Those are not the same, and in fact, the NCAA is a completely unnecessary 3rd party, who only exists because of government intervention in the market.

              No, they are cartel of schools who have agreed to put a cap on wages. That is all they are.

              You don’t understand what I am saying because you don’t understand what is happening.

              1. No, they are a voluntary association of schools.

                Is there a reason you need to be an asshole? You can’t just explain?

                I’m trying to clarify, and you say things like “You don’t understand what I am saying because you don’t understand what is happening.” and then nothing.

                Why be an asshole about it?

                You’re repeatedly referencing the NCAA. It isn’t a player in this unless the schools choose it to be.

                Do you not know it’s voluntary? Really?

                1. Listen, no need to respond here, your other post makes it clea you’re not only an asshole, but a dumb one, so I’m done conversing with you.

                2. The NCAA is a voluntary organization, at least in theory, and the schools allow it to set the rules that they will play by. So discussing it in terms of the NCAA instead of an individual school or conference is just fine. You could replace NCAA with SEC or Alabama and none of the arguments would really change.

      2. But they can only make money off of their “names” because they play in the NCAA.

        Huh? The NCAA is the only player here that doesn’t actually DO anyhting, so I don’t get this.

        The schools trading on their name had that name pre-NCAA (with a few exceptions) so it seems like, if anything, the NCAA is the one who is only in existence because of these players and schools.

        I’m just not sure how what you’re saying makes sense, unless it’sa a more a “this is the current situation” statement, in which case, BFD, schools played football long before the NCAA existed, and it wasn’t the NCAA that made people care.

        1. The NCAA is the only player here that doesn’t actually DO anyhting, so I don’t get this.

          That is like saying the NFL doesn’t do anything. They provide a platform that allows these guys to be famous. If it wasn’t for the NCAA and the TV and the marketing and such, no one would care who these guys are.

          1. They provide a platform that allows these guys to be famous.

            Are you serious?

            No one goes to Alabama/Auburn to see the NCAA.

            The “platform” is simply marketing agreements and venues, all of which are simple contract negotiations. This has been discussed ad naseum in sports columns for years.

            The idea that the NCAA provides much of anythign is monstrously fucking stupid, and your asserting it makes it clear you know too little about the subject to discuss it with.

            It’s obvious now why you keep referencing the NCAA.

            1. The NCAA, like NFL, provides coordination?which is all a lot of entrepreneurs do.

        2. At one time college football players were paid by the schools they played for and were considered “professional” players.

          But listen, no one forces high school athletes to play sports in college. They agree to play under the rules in force when they accept the scholarship.

          Don’t start crying about the rules after you have agreed to them and if you find the rules unfair then quit.

          Having said that, I also agree that some of the rules are over the top and need to be examined. Some kids find themselves in impossible situations because of the NCAA rules.

          I played football back in the stone age and the starting QB drove a brand new Ford Grand Torino while the starting MLB didn’t have a coat that first winter until some of the rest of us found out.

      3. The NCAA has every right to tell them they can’t make money off of their names as part of the bargain.

        I don;t know, John, that sounds like it butts up against right-to-work laws.

        I can understand the athlete not being allowed to use any NCAA-associated logos, names, facilities, etc. for any off-campus revenue-generating activities, but to restrict an athlete from moonlighting sounds legally dubious.

        For example, most police get moonlighting jobs based on the fact that they are police. If a city tried to restrict an officer’s income to strictly the city-paid police employment the police union would be the first to file a lawsuit and the courts would probably declare the restriction illegal.

    2. Absolutely correct. The morally reprehensible constraints are the product of the NCAA. If a computer science student gets paid in the summer by Google the department BRAGS about it on their web site. For the football team, they risk being shut down.

  8. Don’t think this will go anywhere but the NCAA definately deserves every headache this brings them.

  9. In no other context would any Libertarian support anti-trust law or the minimum wage. Yet, when it comes to athletics, they somehow think that there should be some kind of minimum wage that includes cash and the NCAA schools are not free to get together and decide what and how they will pay.

    1. Athletics for profit is among the most complicated subjects out there, but the ultimate upshot is that there is no way in hell a mostly free market system has as the endgame anything that looks at all like the modern NCAA.

      Current spectator sports are the result of decades of subsidies, privileges and other distortions too numerous and complex to ever unwind. Arguing about the merits of players unionizing based on theoretical adherence to “free market principles” is pointless; all that stuff left the building a long time ago and none of the people involved have any desire to fix it.

      At a basic level I want to see the players get paid commensurate with their ability to generate revenue for the schools and NCAA. For the vast majority of athletes that should mean zilch, and for the Johnny Manziels of the world that should mean a whole bunch of cash.

      1. But the existence of the subsidies doesn’t make the relationship between the NCAA and the NFL and NBA any less mutually beneficial. Get rid of all of the subsidies tomorrow and it would still make sense for the NFL to use the NCAA as a minor league and for the NCAA to use athletics as a marketing tool.

        Libertarians hear he word “subsidy” and somehow forget everything they know about free markets.

        1. But the subsidies (and regulations) extend so far into the practices of both the pros and college sports, that there’s no possible way for a market of competitors to emerge.

          If I set up a pro football team in Los Angeles (where clearly there is some market for pro football), how the hell am I supposed to do that? What teams do I play? Where do I play? What players can I hire? What equipment can I use? What TV and Radio stations can I get my games broadcast on? How can I sell tickets?

          There are massive barriers to entry at every turn, almost all of which were created directly through government intervention. It’s disingenuous to suddenly play the libertarian card at this late stage in the game. Why now and not for the last 130 years.

          IOW, _nothing_ that can happen in this situation has even any notional relationship to any sort of libertarian philosophy. Nothing. So I think it’s pointless to choose sides on those grounds.

          1. What the schools have is enormous tax advantages, as Wally Olson explained to me some yrs. ago. However, the other “barriers to entry” you describe are just economies of scale and network effects, not market distortions caused by gov’t intervention. They didn’t stop the emergence in recent years of minor league baseball teams which are independent of the farm system and are significant money makers.

          2. But the subsidies (and regulations) extend so far into the practices of both the pros and college sports, that there’s no possible way for a market of competitors to emerge.

            No. What makes it impossible is the unique nature of sports where people are entertained because they have a rooting interest in a particular set of laundry. A competitor to the NFL hasn’t emerged because it takes decades to build up the kind of fan loyalty necessary to make the product attractive.

            The market in pro sports just doesn’t produce competing leagues. Sometimes the market works that way. Get rid of all of the subsidies you like and you still wont’ get Jets fans watching a new New York Team in a competing league without years of playing and loyalty building and losing money first.

            Not every market looks the same.

            1. The market in pro sports just doesn’t produce competing leagues.

              The oldest pro sport in the USA DID (and still does) produce competing leagues and WITH an anti-trust exemption in place!

              The second oldest pro sport in North America does as well.

              Baseball and Hockey had their (professional) economic foundations established before FDR existed. Football and basketball were adulterated by taxpayer subsidy from the beginning. Part of the reason I hate both sports.

  10. It’s funny, listening to my progfriend on this. He’s normally quite logical, if a bit emotional about anything political (and I antagonize him to the point of hysteria).

    For him, there’s no issue of “athletes are employees” or “athletes are compensated” or anything like that. It’s just “they’re the chief part of a multi-billion dollar industry and deserve to be compensated”

    No questions about differences between employee/student, no questions on implications for NCAA/non-NCAA rules, no questions on implications for non-athletic scholarships. No questions on if it leads to a case of “Men’s Football, Men’s Basketball. Women’s Basketball and one other women’s sport, and that’s it”

    Just: Multi-billion dollar industry – must be compensated.

    1. That doesn’t surprise me coming from a Prog. It does surprise me and disappoint me when someone from the right who should know better gives the “but the NCAA makes billions and the players don’t get paid” line.

  11. If football were not a government-sanctioned cartel, those players might be able to find an alternative.

    1. That is a fair argument. So what do you want to do about it? Do you want DOJ coming in and telling the NFL to fund a rival league and have DOJ dictate the terms of the NFL CBA? That is what it would take to break up the cartel that is the NFL. That sounds like a cure that is a hell of a lot worse than disease.

      Yeah, I would cut off public funding to stadiums. But doing that wouldn’t break up the NFL cartel.

      1. There have been several privately funded attempts to break the monopoly hold on professional football.

        One of those attempts is why we have the NFC vs. the AFC even today.

        Several other leagues with different strategies have tried. Some went head to head and tried to out id for the talent and others have tried playing their seasons at different times of the year.

        None have bested the NFL, it’s deep pockets, and their head start.

        1. Yes. See my response to Voros above. There are huge barriers to entry. That means that you are always going to have one league.

    2. They aren’t. Baseball is the only sport to enjoy an anti-trust exemption.

    3. Football is not a gov’t-sanctioned cartel. What gave you that idea?

      What you may be thinking of is major league baseball, which got a Sup. Ct. ruling a century ago that Congress must not have had them in mind when they wrote the anti-trust laws.

      1. Football is not a gov’t-sanctioned cartel.

        At the college level it has been from the very beginning. Shit, the NCAA whole purpose of existence in the first place was to keep college players from moonlighting in Sunday pro leagues.

    4. There are plenty of alternatives already. If any of these player’s thought they were good enough, or didn’t like the scholarship offer, they could try out for a semi pro team, arena league, or the CFL.Yet every one of them signs the offer. Is it completely irrational of me to believe there’s a reason for that?

  12. Yet, when it comes to athletics, they somehow think that there should be some kind of minimum wage that includes cash and the NCAA schools are not free to get together and decide what and how they will pay.

    Oh, bullshit.

    The cartel prohibits its members from paying their players specifically to prevent bidding wars which might impede the flow of money up the chain.

  13. I’m gonna break the whole thing down and explain what the schools and NCAA ought to do to go back on the offensive and gain the moral high ground:
    If the pro sports unions hadn’t collectively bargained to keep these kids off their playing fields for (x) years out of high school before they are allowed to earn a living in their chosen profession, they wouldn’t be forced to attend college and play under the rules that have been in place for decades. Their protectionist practices have undermined young men and womens ability to earn a living and have forced them to go to college even though they would not willingly choose to under a free market. Now, the overwhelming majority of student-athletes in non revenue generating sports are perfectly happy to have their likeness used because the schools actually lose money on their scholarships and programs in general, they willingly accept, by and large, their scholarships because it gives them a chance to obtain an education in return for their playing a game.
    The NCAA has to go after the practices of the pro unions that force kids into college. If the ones that were concerned more with getting paid for services rendered ( a small percentage of college athletes) were permitted to sell their services in a free market, the others that are grateful to trade an education for their willingness to continue playing a sport they love for another 4/5 years would be able to continue with the decades-long tradition of inter scholastic athletics.

    1. If you think I’m wrong, look at how baseball and golf operate. Players are free to enter right out of high school (or before even). You don’t see college baseball or golf being such a big business because the pro unions don’t collude to prohibit kids right out of high school from entering.

      Pro football and basketball unions are de debbil.

      1. Even if there wasn’t a union, that would not mean the NFL would create a minor league. They would still rely on the NCAA. Moreover, the only reason the CBA is necessary is because of anti-trust laws. Yes, without a CBA, anti-trust law would apply. Okay. That just means DOJ would sue and then dictate how the NFL is run.

        I think the current system or really any system is better than the Feds effectively running an industry in the name of trust busting.

        1. There is no ground for you to claim the NFL would not make a minor league. None at all.

          1. Yes there is. Why would they create a minor league? They cost a fortune to run. It costs MLB millions to have a minor league system. The NFL gets one for free from the NCAA. Why would they ever walk away from such a deal?

            1. Why would they create a minor league?

              They already have.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W…..n_Football

              “The World League of American Football (WLAF) was founded in 1990 with support from the National Football League ”

              “The original WLAF was a spring developmental American football league which had 10 teams playing a 10-game regular season. Two additional franchises were initially proposed in Paris and Mexico City. Teams were aligned in three divisions:”

              1. the WALF was a money loser that folded.

                1. You telling me the World Animal Life Foundation failed?

                  http://walf.org/

            2. Minor league teams are typically owned by local ownership groups, not the parent club. They have arrangements so that contract players cane move up and down in accordance with the MLB clubs wishes and their contracts are subsidized. Think of them more as franchises and less as an extension of the club itself.

              And if they were so unprofitable, I doubt so many of them would be operating for so many years.

              1. That is not how minor league teams work. The major league teams sign the talent and pay them and then assign them. You are talking about how they worked in the 1930s not how they work now.

                1. You’re fucking crazy, John. A majority of players on A-ball teams are not on MLB contracts. They are paid by the local franchise owner on a contract by them. If the parent club wants to pick up their contract and move them to AA, they have to pay to do so. Also, the players on A contracts sign an agreement with that club that states they can be sold to the parent club at any time, but usually that involves moving up so the players happily do so.

                  AAA and AA players to a greater extent are on MLB contracts. But since there are more A-ball clubs out there than there are AA and AAA clubs, and more players on minor league contracts, I think my example is at least as applicable as yours.

                  1. By “parent club,” I meant to say MLB affiliate club. There is no parental relationship between the two.

                  2. Sloopy,

                    The parent clubs pay the salaries of minor league players. When Steven Strasburg signed for 12 million out of high school, it wasn’t the minor league affiliates who paid that. The Nationals paid that. The MLB teams sign the players to minor league contracts, pay the salaries and own the rights to them. The minor league clubs do not pay salaries.
                    You just don’t know what you are talking about.

                  3. Regardless, I learned a couple years ago that there are now entire leagues of AA clubs (and some AAA clubs) that are not part of the major league farm system at all. Their players are free to sign with a major league (or other) team and leave them, but they are not stocked with players signed to any MLB clubs. Their operation is not subsidized by major league clubs. And they’re making money playing 100-game seasons!

            3. No there is not.

              You still have yet to provide proof that the NFL would not make a minor league.

              Hell NFL Europe was a minor league for the NFL, the only reason it failed was because it was in europe, most likely at the behest of the NCAA.

              1. David,

                The proof is that it would cost them money. You are assuming they would make a dumb business decision and spend money when they don’t have to.

                1. In the late 1960s a few NFL & AFL clubs did have farm teams, and the practice was spreading. The old Seaboard Professional League consisted partly of those farm clubs. Then the NFL forbade the practice. The amazing thing was that players were subject to the NFL-AFL draft and league roster limits (including limited taxi squads), so the parent clubs couldn’t have any hold on the players in the far clubs?think tragedy of the commons?and yet it must’ve made sense for the parent teams to stock the pond that all the teams fished in.

                2. Again you claim they wouldn’t do it. They have done it so your contention simply doesn’t hold any weight. Especially if you factor in the potential loss of the NCAA system. Same for the NBA, something Mark Cuban is calling for.

        2. So the NFL wouldn’t follow the baseball model that has been so successful?

          Also, I’m not talking about minor leagues. I’m just saying that their barriers to entry are the only thing keeping students from freely entering the marketplace when they see fit.

          1. So the NFL wouldn’t follow the baseball model that has been so successful?

            No. That model costs millions and baseball only follows it because they rely on foreign players who are not going to go to colleges. And college baseball does a lousy job preparing guys. College football does a great job.

            The NFL or the NBA either one will never set up a minor league system as long as they have the NCAA to do it for them. It makes no economic sense to do so.

            I’m just saying that their barriers to entry are the only thing keeping students from freely entering the marketplace when they see fit.

            And that barrier is created by the NFL and NBA because they don’t want to pay to train young players when the NCAA will do it for free.

            1. Well whatever their reasons are, they are still the ones sperpetrating this injustice on the athletes that would like to enter the market.

              And you’re just plain wrong on the minor league model. It would probably have worked if implemented before the current system was so far along in its development. Alas, we’re here. But that shouldn’t prevent us from pointing out that the only barrier to entry into professional sports is being imposed on these people by the players unions in those professional leagues themselves.

              And I fail t o see how it is legal for a labor union to prevent someone from entering into employment based solely on age, which is supposed to be a protected class in America under the civil rights act and myriad other laws.

              1. It is no an injustice sloopy. To say it is is to say McDonalds’ workers not making $15 an hour is an injustice.

                1. It would be an injustice if McDonalds employees unionized and said nobody could go to work for McDonalds until they had been out of high school for at least 3 years.

                  1. If McDonalds decided tomorrow they were not hiring teenagers, that would be their right.

                    And the players’ unions are not the ones behind the age minimums. They don’t care. They agree to it because the leagues want it.

                    1. If McDonalds arbitrarily decided tomorrow that they weren’t hiring 18 or 19 year olds, then they would be subject to a civil rights lawsuit…and they’d lose.

                      And if you think it’s the leagues instead of the unions pushing for this, you’re fucking retarded. It keeps the competition for current union members limited. And at the end of ones career, preventing your replacement from entering the league for another year or two or three could mean millions of dollars.

                    2. If McDonalds arbitrarily decided tomorrow that they weren’t hiring 18 or 19 year olds, then they would be subject to a civil rights lawsuit…and they’d lose.

                      Not if they had a legitimate business reason for doing it. And again, since when do Libertarians support discrimination laws? What happened to freedom of contract?

              2. I believe the rules by pro league unions were instituted at the request of the NCAA to prevent the superstars from skipping the college teams and going straight to the pros. The unions agreed in return for the free minor league farm clubs. (I remember the NFL and NCAA let some of their discussions leak to the newspapers back in the day when people still read newspapers.)

            2. And college baseball does a lousy job preparing guys. College football does a great job.

              Complete nonsense. Baseball is a refined skill at all positions and it a very small number of players can make the jump because they haven’t competed against the most-refined players. Still, you do find one or two players a year that can make the jump from college to major league baseball – most of the reason players are kept in the minor leagues is to hedge bets based on the union free agency formula.

              Also, the way minor league baseball evolved, the major league affiliation system was a way for the major leagues to LOWER costs. Previously, there were bidding wars on the better minor league talent that was major-league ready. It was actually cheaper for each team to sign 50 players a year (at a young age) at a couple million dollars total than to wait for the couple dozen gems to emerge a few years later and have to bid three or four million to sign one. The way MLB clubs bid for Japanese and Cuban players used to be the way they signed all North American players.

      2. Hey sloop, V and I are going to Santa Anita on Saturday for the Santa Anita Derby. $1,000,000 stakes. And the winner gets a slot in the Kentucky Derby. Usually four or five horses go to the KY Derby. Outside of the Triple Crown, it’s the best horse race in the country. They are usually pretty epic. You and banjos and any other SoCal reasonoid care to join?

        1. Yeah, we’re in. Let me know when and where for the tix.

      3. There are lower levels of professional basketball though, and yet these kids prefer living in Louisville or Manhattan over traveling Spain and playing basketball all day.

        1. True, but we’re talking about the USA here. And the unions and professional leagues in America are the ones prohibiting these young people from earning a living by imposing age-based barriers to entry. In a just world, NCAA athletics would be viewed as an alternative to entering the workforce, not as the only alternative available to someone that wants to stay in the US and still play ball.

          1. The age limit for the D League is 18.

            1. Making the NBA’s argument that age discrimination is OK because people need to physically mature for at least a year out of high school before they can play pro basketball.

              1. Also making sloopinca’s argument that there’s no professional alternative in the US.

      4. You’re skipping over a lot of significant history and starting in the 1960’s.

  14. Suprised to see so many supposed free marketers arguing against union membership and supporting a government cartel.

    If the NCAA and its member universities want to profit off the labor of these students pay them for their services. The sports that don’t fund themselves cancel. No harm to foul to anyone.

    As far as I’m concerned this is the best way to kill title 9 bullshit.

    1. Killing Title 9 is a nice dream, but that’s all it is. You have a better chance of winning the Powerball.

      1. What is the problem with Title IX, other than that the federal government should not be spending any funds on education at all. Title IX just says if you are going to spend such money you have to spend it somewhat equally for programs for women and men.

        1. One wonders why Title IX didn’t also mandate that female participation rates equal male participation rates, and why not make the sports equally as watchable while they’re at it. According to a commercial that used to air incessantly, beginning at age 12 girls drop out of sports at twice (or something) the rate of boys. Maybe Title IX should’ve just outlawed menarche.

          1. I think the assumption was that there might be some relationship between female participation rates and the availability and support of programs for them.

            Remember, colleges insist that their sports programs are not spectator events, but are part of their educational missions, that the opportunity to play sports provides instruction in leadership and such.

            1. I think the assumption was that there might be some relationship between female participation rates and the availability and support of programs for them.

              No, the assumption was that the difference in participation was almost entirely explained by cultural and institutional forces. Title IX is an awfully overbearing solution to “might be some relationship.”

              1. There was no assumption that the amount of facilities and opportunities for female college students had a bearing on how much those same females ideas about playing sports?

                Title IX applies to all programs of a college that want our money. Unlike, say, chemistry labs or majors college teams are gender specific. If the sports programs are suppose to be part of the educational mission it seems to me they should be the same amount of opportunities for women as men.

                Ideally there would be no subsidy or regulation for higher ed and it would exist in a real market, and considering that around 60% of all college students are women I bet schools that did not offer as proportional athletic opportunities to their customers would be corrected by market forces.

                1. There was no assumption that the amount of facilities and opportunities for female college students had a bearing on how much those same females ideas about playing sports?

                  The assumption wasn’t “had a bearing.” It was “explained entirely by.”

                  “Title IX is an awfully overbearing solution to ‘might be some relationship.'”

                  If the sports programs are suppose to be part of the educational mission it seems to me they should be the same amount of opportunities for women as men.

                  Women don’t have the same opportunity as men. They have more by an order of magnitude. Let me explain this slowly:
                  women as a whole aren’t really into sports. Men as a whole are. (Made up numbers coming) Therefore for, say, golf, the top 1% of HS male golfers get a scholarship. But the top 10% of HS female golfers get a scholarship.

                  Mandating that sports scholarships be equal is as absurd as mandating that fashion design scholarships be equal.

                  1. True. I’d estimate 99% of the children playing adult-organized tackle football are boys. When a girl is available in a draft league, it’s usually a good idea to draft her higher than her physical evaluation would suggest, because they tend to be especially into playing.

                  2. “Mandating that sports scholarships be equal is as absurd as mandating that fashion design scholarships be equal.”

                    I think you misunderstand the nature of what is going on in both instances. You are confusing the number of opportunities available with who takes those opportunities. Any man or woman can take fashion design, though the fact is that many more women will choose that. But with sports they are gender specific, women generally can and do not play on men’s sports teams and vice versa. The slots, or opportunities themselves, are gender specific. So what you are advocating is the equivalent of a chemistry graduate program saying ‘hey, since women are generally less interested in chemistry we are going to reserve 20 of our thirty student slots for men, and 10 for women.’

                    Now, I think if a private school wants to do that they should be able to, but a public school should not, and I can see why the public would not want to pay for that sort of thing.

                    1. So what you are advocating is the equivalent of a chemistry graduate program saying ‘hey, since women are generally less interested in chemistry we are going to reserve 20 of our thirty student slots for men, and 10 for women.’

                      1. Fuck You

                      2. What I’m actually ‘advocating’ is that universities do whatever they want with their athletics programs, instead of limiting men’s programs to the amount of women they can drum up to play sports nobody cares about.

                      I can see why the public would not want to pay for that sort of thing.

                      3. What in the fuck are you talking about. The public pays for all these money-pit sports mandated by Title IX. I’m not the on the side of the public funding, dumbass.

                    2. So what you are advocating is the equivalent of a chemistry graduate program saying ‘hey, since women are generally less interested in chemistry we are going to reserve 20 of our thirty student slots for men, and 10 for women.’

                      And what you’re advocating (as long as we’re making shit up) is that we invent new chemistry classes that are only available to women to close this perfectly natural, objectionable only to proggie retards, sex imbalance.

      2. I don’t know, if you delinked sports from academics all together and now universities had to run them with profit motives, then all the title 9 sports shit would fall to the wayside due to market realities.

  15. I played Division III football. No scholarships; we were on the field because we wanted to be. The program was not a source of revenue for the school.

    If the NCAA, in collaboration with the NFL, wants to operate what is essentially an affiliated professional league, I see no reason why the players in that league should be prohibited from making money, either directly based on their on-field performance, or from any other source.

    The cold dead hand of Avery Brundage lies heavily on the world of sport.

    1. But the players in that “league” are being prohibited from making money for one reason and one reason alone: the so-called “parent” league prohibits them from entering and making a real living.

      That’s the real bullshit here. The players don’t have a choice of whether or not to play under the NCAA’s rules because the alternative has been stolen from them by the NFLPA.

      1. But the players in that “league” are being prohibited from making money for one reason and one reason alone: the so-called “parent” league prohibits them from entering and making a real living.

        And that sucks for Clowney and … who else?

        1. What was done to Maurice Clarett was absolutely shameful.

          1. I was talking about high school players.

            And what was done to Clarett was done mostly by Clarett.

            1. No it was done by people who wouldn’t allow one of the 32 NFL teams to hand him a gigantic pile of money they were more than willing to hand him to come play football for them.

              Things could have turned out a lot differently for him had he been able to play in the NFL out of High School or at least after his Freshman year.

              1. Things also could have turned out differently if he could’ve just trained and kept his nose clean for one whole year.

                1. Shouldn’t have had to been forced into college though, but the NFL is a private organization, and there is more into their age limit bs than the NCAA, mainly the NFLPA and their want to keep the market of players as small as possible.

      2. But the players in that “league” are being prohibited from making money for one reason and one reason alone: the so-called “parent” league prohibits them from entering and making a real living.

        WTF???

        The NCAA prohibits SOME of its athletes from even having part time jobs because they MAY have gotten those jobs based on their NCAA notoriety. That has zero to do with the NFLPA.

    2. If McDonalds wants to make billions selling hamburgers, I see no reason why the employees shouldn’t make $15 an hour.

      Fixed it for you Brooks. Your employer has the right to set whatever bargain they want, including you giving up your ability to make money outside of what you make from them as a condition of employment.

      You want football to work differently. So what, the NCAA and NFL see it differently. That is their right.

      You guys sound like a bunch of fucking Progs.

      1. You’re false equivalency has been noted. The pro teams are creating barriers for the players to even be able to enter their leagues until they are out of high school for a certain amount of time. They are discriminating based on age, which was a violation of the civil rights of the prospective employees.

        You comparing that to griefers saying McD’s employees should make more because the company is profitable is fucking idiotic.

        In your stupid-assed comparison, McDonalds employees are still free to enter or exit the workplace as they see fit. For it to apply here, the current McDonalds employees would have to be saying nobody can come to work for McDonalds until they were 21 or 22 years old. There is absolutely no comparison.

        1. They are creating barriers. They have every right to do that unless you think the DOJ should step in and run the league.

          And age discrimination is only illegal if there is no legitimate business reason behind it. And the leagues rightfully argue that it takes physical maturity to play in their league.

          And since when do Libertarians support discrimination laws?

          1. I don’t support discrimination laws, but when the NCAA is having a different standard imposed on them than the pro leagues are then that’s bullshit.

            Sorry, but the leagues have never given a compelling reason why they can discriminate against people because of age. If so, then they would have been consistent in that discrimination instead of having their arbitrary entry age change from contract to contract.

            Discrimination laws are bullshit. Which is why I oppose the NFL and NBA imposing barriers to entry with the consent of the NLRB while private companies that are not unionized are not allowed to do the same. That’s selective prosecution, which is about 100x worse than age discrimination.

        2. Also, for McDonalds to be comparable there would have to be a ton of government run fast food establishments that entered into an agreement with McDonalds to hold wages and entry down.

          And of course, the employees of the McDonald’s-state alliance would still be able to unionize and bargain collectively with the cartel if they so chose.

          1. Oh, there are government run professional sports leagues? Ni guess I didn’t know that. I guess my whole outlook will change now that I have been made aware that the NFL and NBA are actually government programs.

            Dumbass.

            1. I was referring to the NCAA, and I was agreeing with you that John’s analogy to McDonalds was unconvincing.

        3. It’s not actually age discrimination.

          If someone graduated high school at age 14 and could make a team at 17 he could legally play.

          1. Nope.

            The NHL draft is an 18-years-of-age draft. They won’t allow any player into the league younger than 18. (Part of that is US law as under 18 is considered a minor so there is some legal risk with the enforceability of the contract. Canada law may be similar, I don’t know.)

            The old IHL had signed some 17-year olds (and Patrik Stefan may have been 16 when he started) but those teams knew they were going to lose the player at age 18 anyway so the contract risk was low.

    3. Here in the Bronx, admission is free to the varsity football games of SUNY Maritime College, a national power in NCAA div. 3. Women’s & children’s teams I’ve seen use their field (while I was coaching in the case of the children) draw about as well for football. Maybe soccer & lacrosse draw better.

  16. I’d be more interested in having this discussion if there wasn’t a near total dismissal of the current benefits players get being defined as “payment”.

    They clearly are getting paid. They may or may not deserve more, but don’t tell me a kid getting a package wortyh 100k+ every year isn’t getting paid.

    Also, the NCAA is an abomination.

    1. They aren’t getting paid though, they aren’t clearly getting paid either.

      They aren’t getting a package worth 100k. They have their time wasted by going to worthless classes gettig worthless degrees so they can play a sport in which their name and likeness can not be sold by themselves, which they are prohibited from reaping economic gain from their action, and in which they can be dismissed and their scholarships pulled at the whim of a coach with no means to defend themselves or counter charges.

      Lets not even get into the game of college coaches over promising scholarships and then pulling them late.

  17. Whatever you say, John. You’re defending large organizations operating from a collectivist centrally planned economic model using government enforced monopoly power, but I’m the one who sounds like a “prog”.

    1. I am defending a private organization that has formed a cartel and set a wage ceiling. My opinion of them doing that is irrelevant. They can do what they like. You guys seem to forget that whole freedom of association and contract thing on this subject for some reason.

      1. It’s a private organization made up of many, many public institutions, and even the private ones are largely funded with state dollars, so that might be why libertarians have a different take on it.

        1. The schools, yes. I think most athletic departments are self-funding. The scholarships given to players may or may not come from revenue generated by the teams, I don’t know.

          1. Even if an athletic department is pays for itself or even makes money for the school it is still part of the school(much like a university bookstore), many of which in the NCAA are public.

            My general point is just that it is hard to talk about the NCAA as a type of voluntary association occurring in a free market society since many of its members are public institutions and even the ones that are not are to a large degree subsidized by government.

            1. I hear you, but my point is that the state-affiliated status of most schools doesn’t really impact the athletic department very much.

              There are interesting second order effects. As an example, many programs are lucrative because they have large alumni bases, but if the state schools were private, charging typical private school levels of tuition, the alumni base would likely be much smaller, and the football teams less profitable. But again, we are talking about 2nd order effects.

              1. I think that a common libertarian position on cartels or monopoly is that in a free market things will eventually work out due to market forces. But the NCAA is not working in a free market, it is a market full of public institutions, government subsidies and regulation. So I am not sure it makes sense to say ‘hey, relax, sit back and let market forces operate and bad aspects of the NCAA will work itself out.’

                Of course it seems to me the best way to address that would not to be to step up intervention, but to get rid of the public institutions, subsidies and regulation.

                1. But the NCAA is not working in a free market, it is a market full of public institutions, government subsidies and regulation.

                  Thus making the NCAA totally different from other large businesses.

                  1. Sure, but I would argue that higher ed is a market that represents the high end of the continuum of government involvement.

                    1. As Lynchpin said, those are mostly second order effects. I work mostly for utility power companies. Trust me, there’s a much higher end to that continuum.

                    2. I understand that utilities are really highly regulated, but are 90% of utility companies actual public entities?

                    3. Functionally, they’re more public entities than the Alabama Athletics Department.

              2. I hear you, but my point is that the state-affiliated status of most schools doesn’t really impact the athletic department very much.

                WTF????

                Tax-free status! Hell, that alone gives them taxpayer funds. Do you think the stadiums are paid for with athletic department dollars or taxpayer dollars? Shit, even the pro team public teat suckers have to pay rent.

  18. That’s the real bullshit here. The players don’t have a choice of whether or not to play under the NCAA’s rules because the alternative has been stolen from them by the NFLPA.

    I agree completely. The NCAA uses the bullshit fig leaf of Avery Brundage style “amateurism” to keep the dread filthy lucre from corrupting the innocence of the players.

    An alternate path to a career in professional sports is what is needed, but the NFL and the NCAA collude to block it.

  19. I guess John would be ok if the NFLPA said no black people could enter the league. Because color and age are equally addressed in the CRA and every anti-discrimination law as they apply to employers, employees and unions.

    But the NFLPA prohibiting someone from entering the workplace is fine while I would be subject to a discrimination lawsuit if I said to somebody, “I’m not going to offer you a job because you’re not old enough to work here” or “you’re too old to work here because we like to present a younger image” or “you’re too black to work here because most of my customers are white.”

    The selective prosecution is a bigger issue than the age discrimination, although it stems from it.

    1. A CBA can’t get you out of civil rights laws. Players have tried to sue for age discrimination and the courts have found the NFL and NBA have a legitimate business reason for only hiring people of a certain age.

  20. The only possible alternative is a complete takeover by the Justice Department. Don’t you libertarians understand anything?

    1. You tell me Brooks? How do you plan to make the NCAA pay their players without breaking up the cartel.

    2. Here is my alternative Brooks, stop fucking worrying about how other people run their business and about whether other people are getting a fair wage.

      Let the NCAA do what it likes. If the players don’t like the deal, they don’t have to take it.

      It is called freedom.

      1. “It is called freedom.”

        It is not that simple when a good chunk (anyone know how many?) of the members are public institutions and the rest are largely subsidized with confiscated money. That is pretty far from freedom.

        1. D1 FBS, about 90% are state affiliated. The level of support each school gets from its state varies, though. And as a I said above, most athletic departments aren’t being directly subsidized by the state.

          1. “At a time of tight budgets throughout higher education, even the nation’s few financially self-sufficient major-college athletics departments are continuing to receive subsidies in the form of student fees, school or state support, a USA TODAY Sports analysis finds.

            Just 23 of 228 athletics departments at NCAA Division I public schools generated enough money on their own to cover their expenses in 2012.”

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/…..s/2142443/

            1. OK, I knew not all were self-funding, but I thought more were. That does weaken the point I was trying to make.

              1. It weakens the point if you accept their accounting.

    3. Nobody thought this was sarcasm? I spotted it immediately. Boffo! And hockey, jeez, I think the Army would have to be overseeing all that gratuitous, and damn cold, violence. Or a SEAL team. Better yet, real seals. Why be species-ist about it? Plus they’re cute. Thanks for adding that great crack! (Bonus question: Will “adding that great crack” result in a tip from the NSA via the FBI to the DEA to the local constaulary?)

  21. Northwestern, a private school without the taxpayer resources of public schools, noted it spends about $12.7 million annually to subsidize its athletic department’s non-revenue offerings.

    I don’t think the taxpayer resources available to state schools is directly applicable here. I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure NW gets that $12.7 million from revenue generated by football, either directly by its own team, or by payments in receives from the Big Ten. The state schools are in much the same boat.

    State affiliation does muck up the waters a bit. For example, the athletic department is probably covered by the school’s insurance policy, but that will be funded from other sources. But even at state schools, I think most athletic departments, at least the lucrative ones, mostly pay for themselves.

  22. “I’ll HUFF, and I’ll PUFF, and I’ll BLOOOOOOOW your house down!”

  23. 40 to 50 hour weeks Northwestern players spent purely on football

    The judge should’ve checked their record before believing that hook, line and sinker.

  24. Players should own the rights to their image and name and should not be disallowed to make money from marketing their image and name – currently prevents them from retaining amateur status. College-based video games should have to negotiate with both the players (image and name) and colleges (logos and colors) for rights to use in the game. Otherwise college players should negotiate contracts each year with colleges about compensation (could include marketing rights). For public colleges, everyone (students, tax payers, etc) should have access to the results of the negotiations. If they were to do this then everyone would be happy – except for all the colleges that would lose enormous amounts of money from marketing the players and for players that would lose scholarships because those sports would be dropped because the rest of the students would revolt.

    I was a student athlete in college for a sport (crew) in which no scholarships were given and all money had to be earned by the athletes through fund raisers and selling programs at football and basketball games. I have no love for either colleges or paid student athletes. They are what they are and neither need to be protected from the other. Let the negotiations begin.

  25. Let them eat cake

  26. If student athlete union strikes, what will happen to the schedule? Does the school trot out replacement players? I can’t imagine ratings will be high for Alabama vs. high school seniors.

    Why do they want to pay taxes on their scholarship? SEIU and their cohorts are going to ZERO in on any perceived discrimination by the coaches. They yell and scream a lot.

    1. I can’t imagine ratings will be high for Alabama vs. high school seniors.
      You imagine the ratings for Alabama’s first 4 games every year aren’t high?

  27. I honestly hope this causes a collapse of the current sports climate. Some people on this thread seem to have very little knowledge of how the NFL or NCAA operate. I’m more concerned about this eventually leading to a restructuring (or hopefully collapse) of the NFL. John has mentioned the barriers to entry, but they don’t really exist if your in with the local politicians. Most of the costs for a team and stadium are payed by taxpayers. Whether or not you like professional football, if you live in a major city that happens to have an NFL team, you ARE paying for it. And thorough economic studies have shown that pro sports teams generally don’t bring in enough revenue to cover their costs. Not only are you being forced to pay for these teams, but there aren’t even any economic advantages to them setting up shop. That is why I hope the NFL collapses into dust.

    1. You speak with unwavering accuracy, making for a simple and compelling point. It’s beyond corporate welfare when you consider all the elite interconnections among developers, bankers, politicians, billionaire team owners, and other grey visages, with these elite networks beginning in… I was going to say college, but it should probably be kindergarten. But everything will be fine! We are approaching the time when the Mozart Lullaby Baby Generation will be coming into power, so we will final get rule by geniuses. It’s my last hope!

  28. Harry Reid gives us the short version of what the government does by changing just ONE WORD plus a single other LETTER in his statement condemning the NCAA:

    Original: “The NCAA, of course, for a long, long time has been an organization that only cares about making money.”

    Reid Rewrite: “The GOVERNMENT, of course, for a long, long time has been an organization that only cares about TAKING money.”

  29. “And even if CAPA prevails at every stage, the precedent set would only apply to the 17 private schools in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision. The remaining 100 or so schools are public universities, which are subject to each individual state’s laws regarding unionization of public employees. In other words, good luck trying to form a players union in states like Alabama.”

    Ha, that statement is pure folly. What about all those federal dollars and loans that are made to / for “Public Universities”? You think the goober-mint won’t bring that to the table?

  30. Northwestern football players are unionizing so they have a built-in excuse for their under-performance.

  31. ship with the University,” and it was therefore inappropriate to classify them as employees. The scholarships players r

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