Another day in Amateurism Land

Did you think I was gonna say Paradise there?

There’s so much stuff swirling around the NCAA and college athletics at this moment that it’s just easier to bullet point the suckers:

  • The Northwestern players cast their votes for unionization today.
  • But those ballots are going to be sealed for a while because yesterday the NLRB voted to hear Northwestern’s appeal of the Regional Director’s ruling.  As Andy Staples notes, the NLRB vote is a much bigger deal than what Northwestern’s players do.
  • Meanwhile, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors gave its blessing to the restructuring of how the division is governed.  But, as the chair of the board noted, “The model we sent to the membership today is not a final product.”  The proposal has to go to a final vote in August, and while some areas like full cost of attendance scholarships, continuing education and medical care, insurance and the ability to pay for expenses for family members on trips have been green-lighted for big school autonomy, other categories of autonomy sought by the Big Five were tabled for discussion by the board.  And they haven’t fleshed out the voting process yet.  So here’s something the NCAA has struggled with for two years and is still an unfinished product.  Does it seem like it’s a little rushed?  Gee, I wonder why.
  • Meanwhile, the branding continues.  Will a football game be scheduled in Mexico City before the NCAA gets its final act together on governance?
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7 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, The NCAA

7 responses to “Another day in Amateurism Land

  1. AusDawg85

    China/Asia? Latin America? In order to expand the “brand”?? I would love to hear one, just one, salient, cogent argument that those moves are in the interest of the players, students, alumni and fans. The Dubai stunt was a least thinly veiled with the recognition of probably dozens of UT alumni who are stationed over there working in the oil industry. But Beijing? Mexico City?

    How tone deaf can these guys be? Each day is more bad news. Cue the Thelma and Louise closing clip…these guys are racing for the cliff at breakneck speed with no intention of stopping.

  2. Lrgk9

    How long before the Cheerleaders join the union and ask for a royalty off use of their pictures and marketability?

    • I wasn’t aware they were subject to NCAA regs.

      • C.S.

        A lot of schools give scholarships to cheerleaders and there is an NCAA Cheerleading Championship. I don’t know if the cheerleaders are subject to other NCAA rules, however.

        As far as unionizing goes, they would probably have to make the same showing that the football players did — that is, that they are recruited for their cheerleading ability in order to perform cheerleading services for the school, and also that the school exercised some level of control over their day-to-day lives as a condition of maintaining their scholarship. Oh — and it also would have to be a private school like Northwestern, USC, Stanford, Duke, Baylor, University of Miami, etc.

        Off the top of my head, I think they’d have trouble with the first prong of the analysis. I don’t know much about cheerleading other than what I know from a friend whose daughter cheers for a D-I school (although a big state school, so not one which is subject to the NLRA anyway). From what I understand, at least in his daughter’s case, the cheerleading tryouts took place after school started, and she didn’t get any scholarship money until she had been part of the squad for a year. So she’s not being “recruited” for her cheerleading skills in the same way the Northwestern football players are (the decision spent over a page describing the recruiting process culminating with the scholarship offer).

        • C.S.

          Actually, the cheerleading championships might not be an NCAA event. Not sure, and don’t care enough to Google it. But still!

        • C.S.

          FWIW, I believe most schools at least organize their cheerleading through their athletic department. Don’t know if that would affect the analysis, though.