In the end, it always comes back to recruiting.

This is easily my favorite what-if take on the news of the Northwestern student-athletes seeking union certification:

SI: Northwestern is a private university. Would the process be any different if players at a public university sought to unionize?

MM: The National Labor Relations Act, which the Northwestern players are using, does not govern employees at public universities. Student-athletes at public universities who want to join Northwestern in the union effort would have to instead use state labor laws to unionize. This will be a problem for some. States’ laws vary considerably on whether, and how easily, public employees can unionize. Twenty-four of the 50 states are considered “right-to-work” states in that their laws limit opportunities for employees of public institutions, including those employed by state universities, to unionize. Right-to-work states are typically in the south and include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Nebraska, Utah and Iowa are also right-to-work states.

This legal twist means that if college athletes want to be in a union, they need to attend schools where unions not only exist but are possible under the law. In theory, this dynamic could disadvantage public universities in right-to-work states while recruiting high school athletes: If those athletes want to be in a college sports union, they may not be able to do so at public universities in right-to-work states. [Emphasis added.]

Can you imagine what would happen if Nick Saban asked that Alabama do away with right-to-work laws?  Kinda like Bear Bryant demanding that sports segregation end after his team got beat by Southern Cal.  LMAO.


Filed under College Football, Recruiting

30 responses to “In the end, it always comes back to recruiting.

  1. MGW

    The Big Ten is back!

  2. PatinDC

    Wow. I am kind of amused at the thought. It that happend it would really prove that Football is THE religion in the South. No doubt.

  3. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Oh, I don’t think this is going to bother SEC schools in the least.

    Imagine Delany stuck between unionized athletes one side and an NCAA bureaucracy on the other. Sweet. Talk about a no-win proposition.

    Imagine the B1G Network showing 2013 reruns because its players are on strike to make sure that schools like Grambling take care of their players. Very admirable on their part. Meanwhile, SEC schools play on and wear armbands supporting the cause. Sweeter. Talk about a win-win.

    B1G schools are disqualified from playoff consideration because a key conference weekend was wiped out due to labor strife. Sweetest.

    • There are right to work laws in some Big Ten states, I think. Wisconsin, for one.

      • Mark

        Iowa is a right to work state. Not sure about Wisconsin though they may be headed that way with Mr. Walker. Also, I think Michigan may have recently became right to work.

        • Hackerdog

          Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan, and Iowa are right to work states.

          • Mark

            Forgot about Indiana. They are indeed a right to work state. They have also advertised that to some of the businesses in surrounding states much to the chagrin of those state’s politicians. I forgot about Nebraska being in the B1G and didn’t know they were right to work anyway. The idea that a union can force people to join is absurd IMO. Hard to imagine how anyone should have that kind of power.

      • Always Someone Else's Fault

        True, but I think even in Wisconsin striking workers have far more legal protections. Teachers in Alabama and Georgia can join a union, but they cannot strike. Their unions just use their resources to be active politically.

        Your link below indicates the depth of the problem. Workers and company BOTH want a union in Chattanooga. Pols oppose on general principle and the assumption that all unions are Animal Farm waiting to happen.

        Tangent: Gotta love how easily “Detroit” gets blamed completely on unions rather than piss-poor management. I bet Emmert is secretly rooting for unionization. It would guarantee him a lucrative future on the right-wing talk circuit: “How Unions Killed the NCAA. (Really, I Had Nothing To Do With It.)”

        • Hackerdog

          If a car company agrees to a union contract that guarantees benefits that will ultimately bankrupt the company, is that the fault of the union, for demanding the benefits (with the threat to shut down the labor force if they’re not granted), or management (by agreeing to a stupid deal and relying on politicians to bail them out)?

          • Mark

            Yep. Management takes the blame, IMO. Ford managed the storm. That said, unions made the work situation really bad for the car companies. They had a direct hand in the failure.

            • Dog in Fla

              Why blame labor for management failure? Unions did not make the work situation really bad for the car companies and Unions did not have a direct hand in the failure of same –

              “Detroit is bankrupt because its biggest employers still manufacture – as opposed to simply design – cars that anyone can make.

              The mainstream punditry will talk about unions, crime and high taxes as the causes of Detroit’s bankruptcy, but the real answer is rooted in something far more basic: cars are easy to make, and Detroit’s biggest employers make cars.”


              • Mark

                Because unions forget that without a company, there can be no union. Management was stupid to pay as much as they did and the unions help kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

              • Hackerdog

                If Detroit isn’t the problem, why aren’t manufacturers staying in Detroit? Why build a new factory in Kentucky, or Alabama, rather than use an existing one in Detroit?

                Blaming management and exempting unions seems like blaming the glove, but not the hand.

          • Always Someone Else's Fault

            Well, your question presupposes that it was benefits that bankrupted the company, rather than poor design, poor marketing, poor quality control, poor market analysis, and/or poor organization. When my parents and neighbors switched from loyal Ford customers to loyal Toyota and Honda customers back in the day. We replaced our Ford Fairmont with a Honda Accord in 1981. Both were union products. All similarity ended there. However, I am not an expert, and I am sure someone will soon explain to me why Japanese unions no not equal US unions.

            So, within the limited scope of your question, I will say: both.

      • NoAxeToGrind

        Indiana for another.

  4. Mark

    Right to work doesn’t make it illegal to unionize. It just means you can’t force another worker to pay union dues if he doesn’t want to sign up. Not sure what the issue would be in right to work states. There are still unions in those states….

    • That is correct.

      And this is how that works sometimes.

    • Dog in Fla

      “It just means you can’t force another worker to pay union dues if he doesn’t want to sign up.”

      That right to freeload is just another management weapon of mass destruction aimed at the few unions that remain in existence

      “That loophole is what we now know as ‘right to work’ laws—laws that permit non-union member employees to continue to get all the benefits of union representation and protection, as is still the requirement of federal law, without having to pay so much as a penny in return for these benefits.
      Thus, while some choose to call these legislative actions ‘right to work’, many prefer to refer to them as laws designed to provide a ‘right to freeload’.”

      • Mark

        Right to freeload? LOL! Those guys work and are paid for what they do. More like the right to be free from union control.

        • Macallanlover

          Trust me, the Komrade from FL will never grasp that, nor will he see a relationship between protecting incompetent workers and problems in the work place. It is all a part of the process, er Master Plan. Sadly, it is working as this type thinking weakens America even more.

          How in the hell did we ever sink so low that we even need a “Right to Work” law? I would never live in another state where that “right” is denied. Unfortunately, the education system has been put under the control of these Leftists. Another serious alarm warning that has been ignored.

          • Always Someone Else's Fault

            I just love these “it’s all the other side’s fault” posts. You are right that a major problem in America rests in a complete inability across the board to look in the mirror. But, rightists are just as guilty of it as leftists.

            • Macallanlover

              You are clueless. The right to join a union, or not, cannot be construed as being “wrong”. It is neither left nor right. Let the frigging Americans have their freedom of choice. I don’t care if they have union, but I damned sure care if they HAVE to join one. And I care about whether than choice can be made by secret ballot, not subjected to the thuggery that has long been associated with unions. That is where the “left/right” issue can get involved. Some want to force their way down someone else’s throat. That isn’t going to fly with me….ever. Don’t try to middle that one, have your union and pay your dues to some Big Boss man if you like, but I will work for myself and/or my employer….not a union boss. And I encourage all Americans o fight to keep it that way. I see it as another “pro choice” issue. If you cannot allow people to make a choice, you are controlling.

  5. Rp

    When i think about unionized college football players, this comes to mind:

  6. Another shot at Saban, good job!

  7. Will Trane

    These idealist and adventurists. Wonder if they understand where this path will go. They have not put much thought into it. Like much today they migrate to “whatever”. Compensation, employer-employee relations, work hours, etc. NRB. Wonder how many of these guys have or pursuing BBAs or MBAs.

  8. Will Trane

    No letters of intent Put under contract for four years. Performance based contract. Leave early for NFl, the university holds the rights to your contract and will expect to be compensated for the asset when a NFL, NBA, NHL, etc contract is signed. Possible losers will be women’s sports.

  9. Michael

    I’d bet that Saban would just ask that his players be able to unionize while the rest of the state remains right-to-work. The Legislature would go along with that. That would allow the rest of Alabama to continue with the cognitive dissonance of treating football players much better than any other worker in the state.

    • You may be right, but that will just lead to all sorts of screaming and litigation from other public employees.

      Starting with Auburn.😉

      • LorenzoDawgriquez

        Why would Auburn need a union? They already pay way above the top union scale. At Bama, the Barn and SC, the players and coaches all qualify as management, not workers as they run their respective “universities”.

      • Auburn football players will get the same rights as Bama players. And do you think that normal public employees in Alabama have much sway right now?