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Northwestern: College Athletes Can Unionize

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Anyone who thinks athletes shouldn't be paid need to justify why the coaches of the teams should be allowed to negotiate their pay.

 

Coaches have the most to lose by paying players. Of course we don't know what format paying players would take, but any extra money going to the players is less available to pay the coaches. It should be noted that the coach on every major pro sports team makes a lot less then players on that same team.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/salaries/

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This is exactly what it comes down to. The school agrees not to use a players name and likeness for a reason: they are not profiting off of the athletes. What they are profiting off of is the brand of the school. People don't go to FSU football games because they like Jameis Winston, they go because they either went to FSU or are from Florida. The argument that college athletes should be paid relies on an assumption that there should be no amateur sports/popular amateur sports. The main argument that players should be paid essentially relies on the assumption that athletes improve the value of the brand, and thus should be compensated. What it doesn't take into account is that this brand is entirely based on the competition being amateur, and not professional, and thus to pay the athlete would nullify any value the athlete has added (quite the catch 22 eh).

who "earned" it.

 

I disagree with just about everything in the paragraph I quoted. If you think the universities don't use the image of the athletes to make money then explain the fab five.

 

http://theurbandaily.com/2011/03/14/sho ... -get-paid/

 

 

 

No one watches college because they are amateurs.

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Billyhoyle - I agree, there are instances, mainly PhD candidates. And your second point is dead on.

 

Plasmodium - The most important figure in that database are the subsidies which are paid for directly by 'student fees' earmarked for athletics, tax payer subsidies, or both. That is an issue.

 

Heisenburg - I am fine with any association setting salary limits for their members. If you want to put a salary cap on coaching staffs, I would be fine with that. It would fall under competitive advantage and would create more stability and accountability in college athletics.

 

I don't consider anything that is getting subsidized by tax dollars as being able to claim free market. Stop giving any tax payer money (directly or indirectly) to higher education and I would feel better about the system.

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This is exactly what it comes down to. The school agrees not to use a players name and likeness for a reason: they are not profiting off of the athletes. What they are profiting off of is the brand of the school. People don't go to FSU football games because they like Jameis Winston, they go because they either went to FSU or are from Florida. The argument that college athletes should be paid relies on an assumption that there should be no amateur sports/popular amateur sports. The main argument that players should be paid essentially relies on the assumption that athletes improve the value of the brand, and thus should be compensated. What it doesn't take into account is that this brand is entirely based on the competition being amateur, and not professional, and thus to pay the athlete would nullify any value the athlete has added (quite the catch 22 eh).

who "earned" it.

 

I disagree with just about everything in the paragraph I quoted. If you think the universities don't use the image of the athletes to make money then explain the fab five.

 

http://theurbandaily.com/2011/03/14/sho ... -get-paid/

 

 

 

No one watches college because they are amateurs.

 

People don't get excited about high school sports because they are the best athletes they get excited because they are representing their school or community. There is no bigger community than student/alumni communities.

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People don't get excited about high school sports because they are the best athletes they get excited because they are representing their school or community. There is no bigger community than student/alumni communities.

 

 

I agree with everything you said. Paying the athletes would not change that. It would change who gets the money.

 

Amateurism has nothing to do with why people watch their teams.

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People don't get excited about high school sports because they are the best athletes they get excited because they are representing their school or community. There is no bigger community than student/alumni communities.

 

 

I agree with everything you said. Paying the athletes would not change that. It would change who gets the money.

 

And I am saying they are students engaging in an activity on campus, they are not employees. I am vehemently against any system that pays them. I actually would prefer Division-III rules applied to Division-I and there were no scholarships.

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they are not employees.

 

This is the crux of the argument. The Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board disagrees with you. Ultimately, this will probably be determined by a higher court. I believe the players will win.

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I agree with everything you said. Paying the athletes would not change that. It would change who gets the money.

 

Amateurism has nothing to do with why people watch their teams.

 

On the surface this is true; fans don't really think too much about the fact that the amateur status of the athletes is important, but amateurism is the basis of college athletics. The point of college athletics is to see whether the best athletes of one university are better at a certain sport than the best athletes of another. Once you start paying the students to be athletes, you no longer have students competing against other students. Now it is the professional football team based at one university against the professional football team of another.

 

If athletes can be paid, why should the be any eligibility limits? Since they are employees, is it legal to force termination of their contracts after 4 years of competition?

 

If the athletes are paid, would it no longer be against the rules to go from the NFL back to college? They are both professional leagues, so wouldn't it be illegal to bar entry to those who have competed in the NFL?

 

I could go on with examples like this of why college athletics relies on amateur status, but i just wanted to illustrate how paying student athletes anything beyond some type of "cost of living" stipend would destroy any brand value of these athletic programs.

 

 

If you think the universities don't use the image of the athletes to make money then explain the fab five.

 

I agree that schools often illegally use the image of these athletes to make money. It's why you will see some type of settlement in the O'Bannon lawsuit. I don't think they should do this, and hopefully in the future, it will stop.

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The average NCAA Division-I school with football spends $91,000 on each athlete. How many of these athlete's skills are worthy of that figure to the school? That number is VERY small.

 

The idea that you can split off Football or Basketball and treat them differently is absurd.

 

Frankly, all of this makes me sick. If you don't want to be a part of the NCAA, you are free to go elsewhere. If there were the demand and these players were worth it, they would have played in a pro league, like the UFL or the many others. The truth is they weren't worth it, the majority of the time, and they saw more benefit from the schools. The school brand is more valuable at these top schools than the athletes.

 

 

Who cares what they spend on athlete, you really have zero clue about how much money these players generate. It's about profits, while athletic departments lose money football especially and basketball make a isht load of money on their own. If U of T had to follow the NFL CBA where owners get 52% of profits and players 48%, each Texas player would get $700,000 dollars per year, 4 years that's almost $3 million. I don't care what you think they are worth clearly the revenue generated and market do t agree with you.

 

If they were worth so little, we wouldn't be having this discussion because the game wouldn't generate the vast amounts of money that NCAA football happens to do. The issue would be moot and would be no incentive to bring this lawsuit, but clearly these players are worth a isht load of money.

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I agree with everything you said. Paying the athletes would not change that. It would change who gets the money.

 

Amateurism has nothing to do with why people watch their teams.

 

On the surface this is true; fans don't really think too much about the fact that the amateur status of the athletes is important, but amateurism is the basis of college athletics. The point of college athletics is to see whether the best athletes of one university are better at a certain sport than the best athletes of another. Once you start paying the students to be athletes, you no longer have students competing against other students. Now it is the professional football team based at one university against the professional football team of another.

 

If athletes can be paid, why should the be any eligibility limits? Since they are employees, is it legal to force termination of their contracts after 4 years of competition?

 

If the athletes are paid, would it no longer be against the rules to go from the NFL back to college? They are both professional leagues, so wouldn't it be illegal to bar entry to those who have competed in the NFL?

 

I could go on with examples like this of why college athletics relies on amateur status, but i just wanted to illustrate how paying student athletes anything beyond some type of "cost of living" stipend would destroy any brand value of these athletic programs.

 

 

If you think the universities don't use the image of the athletes to make money then explain the fab five.

 

I agree that schools often illegally use the image of these athletes to make money. It's why you will see some type of settlement in the O'Bannon lawsuit. I don't think they should do this, and hopefully in the future, it will stop.

 

 

If NCAA football was actually amateur I'd by your argument, this ended, when billions in revenue started being generated in the 80s via tv contracts. Conference realignment, we are talking some rivals that were a century old being dismantled for profits indicates the driving factor is money therefore it is not amateurism so cut the BxSx

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People don't get excited about high school sports because they are the best athletes they get excited because they are representing their school or community. There is no bigger community than student/alumni communities.

 

 

I agree with everything you said. Paying the athletes would not change that. It would change who gets the money.

 

And I am saying they are students engaging in an activity on campus, they are not employees. I am vehemently against any system that pays them. I actually would prefer Division-III rules applied to Division-I and there were no scholarships.

 

 

And, the problem would not change. Even more so wpuld be the claim for money. 10s of billions and you think denying the workers compensation with the pool that large would disappear, a tipping point gas been reached.

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If NCAA football was actually amateur I'd by your argument, this ended, when billions in revenue started being generated in the 80s via tv contracts. Conference realignment, we are talking some rivals that were a century old being dismantled for profits indicates the driving factor is money therefore it is not amateurism so cut the BxSx

 

I'd agree if there were profits. Universities are all nonprofit institutions, and while amateur football and basketball both generate significant revenue, there is no "owner" raking in money. Nobody owns Alabama football to profit off of it. It is difficult to realize this distinction, but it is there. You could never institutionalize an athletic department as a professional league/business, since it will undermine everything college athletics is based and relies on.

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If athletes can be paid, why should the be any eligibility limits? Since they are employees, is it legal to force termination of their contracts after 4 years of competition?

 

If the athletes are paid, would it no longer be against the rules to go from the NFL back to college? They are both professional leagues, so wouldn't it be illegal to bar entry to those who have competed in the NFL?

 

These are great questions. I'm not a labor expert but I'll explain to the best of my understanding.

 

Collectively bargained agreements (CBA) are essentially allowed to have whatever rules they want regarding membership. For instance, the NFL "three years in college" rule and the NBA "one and done" rule are all legal because they are agreed upon by the players. As such, a CBA between college players and universities should be allowed to restrict membership and eligibility based on age. Mandatory retirement is also something I believe to be legal in a CBA.

 

 

MLB has also had instances of players barred from the MLBPA because they were replacement players during the strike.

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I'd agree if there were profits. Universities are all nonprofit institutions, and while amateur football and basketball both generate significant revenue, there is no "owner" raking in money. Nobody owns Alabama football to profit off of it. It is difficult to realize this distinction, but it is there. You could never institutionalize an athletic department as a professional league/business, since it will undermine everything college athletics is based and relies on.

 

 

Non-profits still have to follow federal workforce laws.

 

For instance, a catholic non-profit religious hospital is not allowed to only hire catholics, and they must pay minimum wage.

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Collectively bargained agreements (CBA) are essentially allowed to have whatever rules they want regarding membership. For instance, the NFL "three years in college" rule and the NBA "one and done" rule are all legal because they are agreed upon by the players. As such, a CBA between college players and universities should be allowed to restrict membership and eligibility based on age. Mandatory retirement is also something I believe to be legal in a CBA.

 

 

MLB has also had instances of players barred from the MLBPA because they were replacement players during the strike.

 

Interesting. So i guess it would be legal..To me, as a fan, it would all seem very arbitrary. A rule saying you can only compete for four years, because that is the average time it takes a student to graduate, makes perfect sense. A rule saying an employee of the university can only compete for four years does not.

 

Then consider the academic aspect: I'd assume somewhere in this CBA would be a requirement to also attend classes. This also seems arbitrary...why is it important if these employees learn about "communications" during their time as an employee of the school.

 

More importantly..unionization could never happen because the faculty, trustees, and big time donors would (for the most part) rather see no athletic program whatsoever than a school sponsored professional league.

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This was brought up earlier in a post but has not been discussed; if they are employees won't they have to pay taxes on their scholarships? If they are compensated $58,000 a year in scholarship money won't they now have to pay taxes on that income? If it were up to me I would rather get a scholarship that is tax free, than receive an income in the amount of the scholarship that is taxed? Am I missing something?

 

I also think it is ridiculous to think they should be paid to play. If you want to get paid to play a sport go pro, cfl, arena, or Europe. You are choosing to play an amateur sport, stop the complaining.

 

I actually think a college athlete should have to take a special general knowledge test in Math, reading, English and science. ACT and SAT are too easy to cheat or get around. The results should be made public and certain score achieved, after all it is the taxpayers dime they are going to school on. This would limit a lot of the one and done bball players and football players that can't spell cat if you give them the c and the t. So basically 50% of the athletes in the SEC.

 

I think the only legitimate claim they have is making money on their likeness. If a player is popular enough to make money doing autographs or sell jerseys then so be it, very few college athletes could make money doing selling their likeness.

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This was brought up earlier in a post but has not been discussed; if they are employees won't they have to pay taxes on their scholarships? If they are compensated $58,000 a year in scholarship money won't they now have to pay taxes on that income? If it were up to me I would rather get a scholarship that is tax free, than receive an income in the amount of the scholarship that is taxed? Am I missing something?

 

 

Again, I'm not an expert, but I would say yes, it would be taxed. There may be exemptions since it is education. For instance, your employer is allowed to pay for you to go back to school and you don't report the education as income.

 

If it is taxable income, it would cost about $7500 to cover a $60,000 income. That is with no deductions, exemptions. If the player is compensated $20,000 a year he comes out about 8,000 ahead.

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More importantly..unionization could never happen because the faculty, trustees, and big time donors would (for the most part) rather see no athletic program whatsoever than a school sponsored professional league.

 

 

Huh. The donors are the ones that pay players on the side. They would love to let the flood gates open so they can use their deep wallets to buy the best players.

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This was brought up earlier in a post but has not been discussed; if they are employees won't they have to pay taxes on their scholarships? If they are compensated $58,000 a year in scholarship money won't they now have to pay taxes on that income? If it were up to me I would rather get a scholarship that is tax free, than receive an income in the amount of the scholarship that is taxed? Am I missing something?

 

 

Again, I'm not an expert, but I would say yes, it would be taxed. There may be exemptions since it is education. For instance, your employer is allowed to pay for you to go back to school and you don't report the education as income.

 

If it is taxable income, it would cost about $7500 to cover a $60,000 income. That is with no deductions, exemptions. If the player is compensated $20,000 a year he comes out about 8,000 ahead.

 

No, it would not be taxed. Waived tuition for employees of the university is not taxable income.

 

 

 

Huh. The donors are the ones that pay players on the side. They would love to let the flood gates open so they can use their deep wallets to buy the best players.

I'm not talking about the ones who donate to athletics.

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I'm not talking about the ones who donate to athletics.

 

The people your referring too don't seem to mind paying the head coach millions of dollars.

 

No one is going to drop a program that makes the university money for the sake of ideology.

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Here is how it can work.

 

Make football and men's basketball professional teams. The BCS conferences can set their own rules, and exit the NCAA. They setup their own rules just as the NFL, NBA, and MLB do now.

 

The universities charge these teams a market rent for use of athletic facilities. These lease payments are used to fund the non revenue sports.

 

Elimination of 85 football players and 11 basketball players from each university, would require the addition of scholarships for men's non revenue sports, or the reduction of women's scholarships. Politically that wouldn't go over well. So perhaps some men's teams would be added to get the male athletic scholarships to approximately equal to female athletes.

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While the pay issue maybe one of the side issues its important to realize the group of Northwestern players pushing for this are not just about getting "paid." Their purpose was to ensure college players were given a legitimate "voice" in what gets decided since it effects them. Unionizing seems to them the best legal way to express the groups feelings in a way that will be heard by those in charge. They wanted to ensure that the athletes get reasonable medical coverage, concussion research, scholarships that reflect there worth to the university. The possibility of being paid a stipend for their time on the field is another issue but not the entire purpose behind this push.

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Don't worry this time when we start drafting no one will be exempt...18-25 will be prime and then we'll push the age up...Scary as it sounds we'll see how dedicated America is!!!

 

P.S. You folks enjoy your evening!!!

 

P.P.S. Next we'll have to pay high school athletes...

 

This was brought up earlier in a post but has not been discussed; if they are employees won't they have to pay taxes on their scholarships? If they are compensated $58,000 a year in scholarship money won't they now have to pay taxes on that income? If it were up to me I would rather get a scholarship that is tax free, than receive an income in the amount of the scholarship that is taxed? Am I missing something?

 

I also think it is ridiculous to think they should be paid to play. If you want to get paid to play a sport go pro, cfl, arena, or Europe. You are choosing to play an amateur sport, stop the complaining.

 

I actually think a college athlete should have to take a special general knowledge test in Math, reading, English and science. ACT and SAT are too easy to cheat or get around. The results should be made public and certain score achieved, after all it is the taxpayers dime they are going to school on. This would limit a lot of the one and done bball players and football players that can't spell cat if you give them the c and the t. So basically 50% of the athletes in the SEC.

 

I think the only legitimate claim they have is making money on their likeness. If a player is popular enough to make money doing autographs or sell jerseys then so be it, very few college athletes could make money doing selling their likeness.

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