Category Archives: Look For The Union Label

Friday morning buffet

You should eat.

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Filed under ACC Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Wednesday morning buffet

The chafing dishes are full, so knock yourselves out.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, Media Punditry/Foibles, Pac-12 Football, Political Wankery, Strategery And Mechanics

Wednesday morning buffet

Trying to provide all the nourishment you need this morning…

  • Meet your dumbass of the day.
  • Northwestern’s AD is honest about it“There are some real positive residuals that have occurred from the conversation about unionization.”
  • On the other hand, it sounds like Kansas State hasn’t gotten the message yet.
  • You gotta love amateurism.
  • Here’s another missing kid from Georgia’s program.
  • Where does South Carolina go with the end of the crazy run of in state talent?  Spurrier’s got that program going nicely, so it’s probably not as big a deal as it might have been once.
  • Pat Dooley ranks the SEC schedules.  Georgia gets dinged for not playing Alabama or LSU, but no mention of same for the other two schools in the East with similar scheduling.
  • Dear Mr. Emmert…
  • For all that talk about power conference autonomy, it sure doesn’t seem like Division I is anywhere near ready to grant it.  The Big Ten is getting antsy about that.
  • The NCAA currently has no Division I major violations cases on its public database for the longest period without a completed major case since 1998.  No doubt that’s because every school in America has suddenly cleaned up its act.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Big Ten Football, General Idiocy, Look For The Union Label, Media Punditry/Foibles, Political Wankery, SEC Football, The NCAA

Stanford is mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore.

Don’t say you weren’t warned, CAPA.

One of the five witnesses, Stanford athletics director Bernard Muir, told the committee that if his school’s athletes were allowed to unionize, the school “might opt not to compete at the level we are competing in.” And in an interview with USA TODAY Sports after the hearing, he was unequivocal: “If (Stanford’s athletes) are deemed employees, we will opt for a different model.”

“I just know that from our board of trustees, our president, our provost, the Stanford culture, it just wouldn’t be appropriate to deem student-athletes as employees,” Muir said. “We would deem that inappropriate, so for that purpose we would have to look at other alternatives.”

I wonder how many of those alternatives include lucrative broadcast deals.

This, of course, is so much bullshit, as Andy Schwarz, a sports economist who also testified at the hearing, explains.

“The idea that this is a money-losing industry is incredible,” Schwarz said. “If you look at a money-losing industry, you wouldn’t see rising employee [coaches] pay, you wouldn’t see firms flocking to join the industry. The money is in the system. It’s just that it’s being denied to the primary generators.”

Schwarz compared the NCAA to a rich investment banker on Wall Street who makes over a million dollars per year. That’s a lot of money. But what if the same investment banker buys a lavish apartment on the Upper East Side and a vacation home in the Hamptons, and then has some kids and needs to change his lifestyle? Of course, he won’t want to do that and could claim he doesn’t have money to raise his kids. But he does if he reallocates his money.

This is the same predicament facing the NCAA. Its schools need to operate in budget. But they also want to, as Schwarz said it, build “recruiting palaces,” shifting the burden of funding athletes to tax-funded Pell grants.

The phrase “cutting off your nose to spite your face” comes to mind, except the big schools aren’t going to walk away from all that money.  They’ll simply bitch and moan about not being able to afford it all the way to the bank.

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

“I think it’s very difficult to sift out real value as to who brings how much value to what.”

Said by a man who had to return to meetings “inside the lavish Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa to find money in budgets for athletes’ benefits”.  But no doubt he means well, student-athletes.  Just give him a few more years to figure out a solution.  You’ve waited this long already, right?

Seriously, this is how revolutions get started.

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

“Mr. Doughty was aware of his medical status…”

Yeah, this story chaps my ass.

Seven years of helplessness have passed for Stanley Doughty. A cervical spine injury he sustained as a University of South Carolina defensive lineman leaves him living on disability checks from his parents’ home in Louisiana — frustrated, humiliated and broken.

At one point, Doughty lived out of his car for a month. He once had a job at Waffle House but couldn’t keep it because of the burning sensation he felt whenever he lifted plates or reached for a shelf.

“At job interviews they ask if I ever had any injuries,” said Doughty, now 30 years old. “No one wants to put you on a job with a cervical spine injury because you’re a liability. I haven’t been able to do what I need to do to provide for my kids and feed them and clothe them. It’s been devastating.”

If it takes a union threat to get the NCAA to step up and do the right thing, so be it.

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Filed under Look For The Union Label, The NCAA

Congress rides to the rescue.

Yeah, this is going to end well.

Congressional interest in the current state of college athletics will take another step forward Thursday when a House committee conducts a hearing to examine the recent decision by a regional chairman of the National Labor Relations Board to allow college football players at Northwestern University to unionize.

The Education and Workforce Committee will conduct a hearing titled “Big Labor on College Campuses: Examining the Consequences of Unionizing Student Athletes,” the committee said in a release.

And it’s good to see that the committee is approaching the issue with the open-mindedness that’s been a hallmark of Congressional deliberation since the beginning of the republic.

“The NLRB’s decision represents a radical departure from longstanding federal labor policies,” committee chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) said in the release. “Classifying student athletes as employees threatens to fundamentally alter college sports, as well as reduce education access and opportunity. The committee has a responsibility to thoroughly examine how the NLRB’s decision will affect students and their ability to receive a quality education.”

The fun part will be seeing who the witnesses are.  Don’t forget the popcorn!

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Filed under Look For The Union Label, Political Wankery

CAPA’s first win?

If you don’t think the threat of unionization has already had an impact on the big schools, you’re not paying attention.  The latest NCAA governance proposal would give student-athletes almost 20 percent of the voting power in the rules-making process.  That may not sound like much, but when you consider where the schools were a few short months ago…

Board steering committee member Kirk Schulz, the Kansas State president, told CBSSports.com in March he had “mixed emotions” about players having a vote.

“We ask so much of our student-athletes now …,” he said. “My concern is not students don’t offer great perspectives. I’m just trying to figure out what six hours per day that they’re supposed to sleep? Are we going to have students able to show up and work with NCAA?”

No word on whether ol’ Kirk said that with a straight face.

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Filed under Look For The Union Label, The NCAA

Tuesday morning buffet

Nom, nom, nom…

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, SEC Football, The NCAA

“I think everybody’s just kind of waiting to see what’s gonna happen…”

Seth Emerson speaks to various actors around campus about unionization and player compensation and, as often seems to be the case, the most rational observations come from the student-athletes.

Chris Conley speaking intelligently about a topic is pretty much a given:

“People need to realize that whether it’s by unionizing or it’s by another means, there are some issues that need to be looked at, other than just paying athletes,” said Georgia senior receiver Chris Conley, who is a student-athlete rep to the NCAA. “It’s student-athlete well-being. Student-athlete experience.”

That’s the thing, isn’t it?  If you take the political sentiment out of it, unionization is nothing but a means for student-athletes to get their concerns heard in a legitimate fashion.  It’s not an end.  While I don’t expect the Northwestern players to vote for a union, it was important for them to have the choice.  That’s what’s finally awakened the schools and the NCAA.  I hope the NLRB leaves the ruling in effect on appeal, because the players need the leverage that the threat of a vote brings.

As far as compensation goes, there’s the reality of being a star athlete in a non-revenue sport.  Meet Marion Crowder.

… Only her sport is women’s soccer, and Crowder knows the difference in the grand scheme.

“I think we understand that we’re not necessarily the money-makers of the university,” said Crowder, who as a freshman led the Bulldogs in goals and points last fall. “And I honestly think that we’re all happy to be playing college soccer.”

These are days of change in college sports. And on the campus at Georgia, key figures await the result, partly with wariness but also with a sense that some change will be good.

“If the Johnny Manziels and Todd Gurleys and Keith Marshalls of the world, since their names are plastered everywhere, I can understand if they have a much stronger opinion on what they want and what they see is fit,” Crowder said.

I have a hard time believing there isn’t enough money flowing into big time college sports to find a reasonable way to accommodate the commercial demands of the star football player and the star women’s soccer player.  There simply isn’t enough will on the administrative side to find a solution right now.  That’s why Mark Richt’s observation sums it all up.

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