Monday, March 31, 2014

Unionization Part I

There are some pretty big changes starting to brew in College Football, unionization being at the top of the list. Well even here at Simply College Football, change is in the air. This will be the last post on this blog site. Don't worry!! I am not shutting down, I am simply moving operations and bringing in a couple of my friends to help out. 

The blog is moving to: and we are also on Facebook under Armchair College Football. 

I would also like to introduce my two contributors: Jules and Aaron. I have bios of them posted on the new site and they will be a huge part of what Armchair College Football is going forward. I am super excited for this next step in the blog and I think this next year is going to be amazing with more insight and opinion that any one site should have.

So in order to celebrate the passing of this blog into the next we have a multiple part series on the Unionization issue that has come to the forefront. To kick it off with Part I the remainder of this blog will be turned over to Jules and her opinion on the matter. I will be back on Wednesday with Part II, which will be posted on the new site!! Hope to see you there!!!

UNIONIZATION Part I - by Jules

To unionize or not to unionize, that is the question.  College football has been around for decades, why is unionizing now an issue? The NCAA has transformed college football into nothing more than a billion dollar business built on the backs of ‘student athletes’ and they’ve finally had enough.
The Texas Longhorns, college football’s most valuable team, made $109 million dollars last year. The SEC took home $52 million from the 13-14 bowl season alone. The average bowl-eligible head coach now takes home $1.64 million a year. Millions of dollars of video games and copious amounts of merchandise are sold with players’ names and likenesses without their permission. All this money and the kids who actually work for it never see a dime.
Sure, you get a scholarship, but in the grand scheme of things, it can almost be considered chump change. A four year degree at a state school will set you back about $60,000, but at what cost? 40+ hours of football practice a week? Plus you have to find time to actually go to class and study so you can pass and actually be able to play the sport you’re bending over backwards for. Forget actually wanting to learn something, they’ll just stick you in one of their ‘paper classes’ and send you on your way.
Players are also required to sign scholarship ‘tenders’ that define conditions under which they will receive free tuition, room and board, and other support. If players fail to meet the conditions, they lose their scholarships.  How exactly can you hold someone under contract and not consider them an employee? Well, the tide is turning and thanks to the Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board. They ruled on Wednesday that Northwestern football players qualify as employees of the university and can unionize.
I think it’s absurd we’ve gone so long treating these kids so poorly. We watch them play their hearts out on Saturdays, shell out premiums for tickets, jerseys, etc. and some of them go home hungry after the games. They have virtually no private lives. Everyone knows who they are and they live under a microscope. Take Johnny Manziel for example. The poor kid couldn’t have lasted another year in college even if he wanted to. His every move was on ESPN. He couldn’t go to class without being stopped or pointed at. It’s a real shame how these kids have had to live and I’m glad they’re finally getting their voices heard.