“I think these great men and women should be able to at least have money to wash their underwear.”

Yeah, Harry Reid actually said that about student-athletes.  It’s certainly easy to mock.  But maybe not so easy to dismiss.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes there’s the growing possibility of Congress getting involved. Allen Sack, president of the Drake Group, said the organization is gaining progress with one “very interested” U.S. senator and several members of Congress about tying NCAA reform to federal aid that universities receive.

“We’ve gone to the senator level and we’ve got a nice relationship going, especially in the context of what’s going on with college sports and millions and millions of dollars are going to our universities and we find our athletes are not being educated?” said Sack, who declined to identify the senator. “There are some irate Congress people. Some of these things hit a chord with Congress.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told The Washington Post he would help the unionization movement.

“Of course they should be able to organize,” Reid said. “The way these people are treated by the NCAA and the universities themselves is really unpardonable, and I wish them well. I’ll do anything I can to help.”

This is the reward for blind arrogance, Mr. Emmert.


Filed under Look For The Union Label, Political Wankery, The NCAA

64 responses to ““I think these great men and women should be able to at least have money to wash their underwear.”

  1. Spike

    When you cite Harry Reid as authority you have lost me. And the argument.

    • I shouldn’t cite Harry Reid threatening to take action as authority for the proposition that Harry Reid’s threatening action? Wut?

      • DawgPhan

        Of course not Senator…I mean what control does Harry Reid have.

        let me just google this harry reid asshole….ohhh…well he, ummm..well shit

        Spike you might have missed it, but according to the internet(that liberal jerkwater al gore invention so take it with a grain of salt) since 2007 Harry Reid has been the Majority leader of the US Senate. So he might have a pretty big dick to swing when it comes to legislative action.

    • Gaskilldawg

      No one was citing Reid or anyone else as an authority on anything. The Senator ‘s point is that Mark Emmert has screwed up royally by failing to lead the NCAA members to change the way it addresses player issues and as a result Emmert and the NCAA may have lost what it thought was is trump card, that is, Congress providing cover.

      The post was not an endorsement of Reid, or anyone else. It is acriticism of Emmert.

      I swear, post the word “union” and some folks become so overwrought
      they lose their reading comprehension skills.

  2. John Denver is full of shit...

    I feel filthy being on the same side of an argument as Harry Reid.

    • DawgByte

      John Denver Fan –

      You should be asking yourself the following: “Can I possibly be as stupid as Harry Reid?”

      Gaskilldawg –

      How are player issues any different today, than they were 20 years ago? Should all student athletes be given the right to unionize or just football players? How much of a “stipend” over and above the financial value of an athletic scholarship is suitable? The NCAA has enough trouble enforcing existing regulations, do you think they’ll be able to monitor stipends any better? Do you see the possibility for corruption or a slippery slope? How will this unionization impact athletic departments that are already operating in the red?

      The problem with liberals is they run primarily on emotion and never think things through. Obamacare is a prime example.

      Have a nice day.

      • How are player issues any different today, than they were 20 years ago?

        I’m not sure whether you’re blind to current events, or if you’re just saying since they were ignoring player issues 20 years ago, that’s a good enough reason to keep ignoring them now.

        • DawgByte

          Cry me a river of modern player woes. Talk about your pussification of Amerika. Go ahead and read Dooley’s response to this nonsense for further enlightenment.

        • SC Dawg

          “I think guy’s could live off what we get with financial aid and the meal check that we get. I think the average guy could take care of himself outside of what we get from the school,” cornerback Damian Swann said.


      • John Denver is full of shit...

        I am not sure how stupid Harry Reid is, probably very?

        While I don’t agree that a union is the way to go. Legally, which unfortunately this country decides everything on legality and not law. Legal being the antithesis of law.

        The players have achieved step 1, become an employee.

        A totally different argument, do players need more now than they did 20yrs ago…probably not, but keep in mind schools were not showering themselves in money 20 years ago…

        My Fix All Plan: Set up a trust when a kid signs with a school. Fill that trust with ticket sales, tv revenue, jersey sales, nike endorsements, etc. If said athlete at school graduates, then he gets the trust. If he leaves early for the pros, he forfeits that trust and it goes to a valedictorian or to someone deserving academically…

        • DawgByte

          What universities athletic departments make based on TV contracts is a red herring.

          Your fix all plan is a prescription for disaster in college athletics. Remember, we’re talking student athletes here – NOT PROFESSIONALS!!!

          • Actually, we’re talking employees now.

            • DawgByte

              This ruling is under appeal. Don’t count your liberal union thug chickens until they’ve hatched.

              • John Denver is full of shit...

                Forget about Harry Reid and politicians in general, who cares about what they blather about?
                Until you come to the realization that it is all theater on both sides of the isle, than your views on this matter will remain antiquated and stuck in time like Michael J Fox without a 121 gigawatts.

                You are insisting that a player 20 years ago put in as much time and effort as the athletes of today do…
                Do you realize they have i-pads with game film to watch in their free time?
                Their likeness is on video games?

        • AusDawg85

          The model already exists…a qualified pension plan. All scholly athletes would be eligible, and minimum funding requirements on behalf of each, which could include both cash and health & welfare benefits (i.e. medical, disability, life insurance, etc.). Star athletes could earn a higher % of contributions based on an economic formula (tv, bowls, merchandise, tickets, etc.), but there would be caps (which would help eliminate bidding wars by boosters or more wealthy universities trying to game the system for top recruits). Benefits could be subject to a vesting schedule and taxable when received, and hardship provisions included if an athlete needed more immediate access. Outside trustees with fiduciary responsibility to the plan would help protect against financial mismanagement and shenanigans by the schools and their supporters.

          This isn’t perfect…small schools will not have the advantage of big schools, and some AD’s may drop some sports at the varsity level to avoid the minimum funding requirement for all athletes, but if it comes to this, I would not be surprised to see some type of arrangement like this adopted.

      • Rival

        Well that escalated quickly…

        Go read and comprehend the list of items the CAPA folks won’t to negotiate for. “Stipend” isn’t high on it.

        I would write a sentence like, “The problem with [large, poorly defined group I don’t agree with 100%] is they [vague ad hominem attack on large, poorly defined group].” but I don’t like to promote group identity politics on my football blog.

      • Doug

        The problem with liberals is they run primarily on emotion and never think things through.

        Right, that’s our problem.

      • mp

        The problem with conservatives that they will ignore systemic problems and offer no solutions if those solutions dare to interfere with their Saturday afternoons

        • Normaltown Mike

          The problem with liberals is that they will ignore systemic problems and offer no solutions if those solutions dare to interfere with their Golden Calf – Mother Government.

      • GaskillDawg

        Dawgbyte, you are missing my point. My point in this thread is not whether the NCAA’s desire to retain 1950’s rules is justified or not (I have an opinion on that but my opinion is irrelevant to this discussion.)
        My criticism of Emmert and the NCAA is the manner in which it attempts to fight attacks to its 1950s business model, and if you support the NCAA’s model you should be pissed at it too.

        Emmert and the NCAA could grant concessions that it can live with in order to preserve the model. Instead, it takes a “fight at all costs” approach without regard to whether there are downside risks to its intransigent stance. Emmert and the NCAA had the opportunity to retain control over the outcome of the issue by compromising on points, such as expanding its health insurance coverage to treatments after eligibility ends of injuries incurred while playing college sports or giving students some representation on committees or loosening the transfer rule. Instead, due to his and the NCAA’s lack of leadership the forums to decide the issues moves to institutions over which the NCAA lacks control, such as the NLRB, the courts and perhaps Congress.

        With effective leadership the colleges could avoid granting control over outcomes to those who want to advance the ” pussification of Amerika.” I would think that you would agree that Emmert and the NCAA are stupid for taking resolution of issues away from the NCAA through negotiation and compromise and give resolution to folks who want the ” pussification of Amerika.”

        Blame Emmert and the NCAA for not forseeing and controlling its risks.


    • Macallanlover

      It is bad to think that scummy harry could be smarter on ANY issue than the person in charge of the NCAA. Of course, that wasn’t harry speaking, it was the union goons throwing their voice while his lips moved. Once they save you, they own you.

      • Rival

        This really isn’t the place to debate it, but I don’t get the ire directed at Reid. There is a pretty cool story about him choking a guy who tried to bribe him early in his career. As a Nevada politician, I don’t have much use for him in Georgia but whatever gets you motivated in the morning.

  3. Lorenzo Dawgriguez

    Harry Reid is as slimy as Auburn

  4. Skeptic Dawg

    The walls of Jericho Re about to fall. The players are currently circling with horns in hand.

  5. pantslesspatdye

    I appreciate Harry Reid’s concern for the players. I would not be suprised if someone as sincere as he is would step up and give them gifts from his campaign funds.

  6. Wow, we’ve all kinda been operating the assumption that the NCAA would have a Congress as a fall-back option to bail them out. Sounds like that might not be the case. The walls are closing in quickly. Will be really interesting to see what happens. Even if the NLRB decision is ultimately overturned, there’s so many other suits either currently active or in the works, that sheer numbers tell you the NCAA is eventually going to lose, and lose badly, regardless of what any of our opinions are on the matter.

  7. 81Dog

    Wonderful. I’m sure Harry and his ilk will bring all the expertise and insight to improving college sports that they have demonstrated in improving the health care system.

  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    What I take from all the rhetoric and pointless polemics is that hats with a “union made” label may have a different kharmic impact than hats from, say Vietnam or China.

    Meanwhile, the Kharmic Bitches are drooling over the apparent fracturing of the lunatic fringe.

  9. So, if when the NCAA implodes and they have to pay handsomely in the O’Bannon suit, they have to give players a cut of proceeds from the NCAA tourney (whether that be for post-career health care or just as cash), and they have to allow players to profit from their own names… what happens then?

    It is unfair that the entire system was predicated on profiting off the relatively-poorly compensated players. I get that. I don’t disagree. But if that system is turned upside down, what is the incentive to continue in that market? I don’t think this will happen overnight, but the combination of the unionization, the O’Bannon suit and others, and the constant push for players to make more money off their likenesses is taking more and more money away from the AD’s. With the notable exception of the departments at the very top, most departments are not turning a profit. Now, these other expenses will start eating into their revenue streams. Eventually there is a tipping point where it is no longer worth your while to pursue the endeavor.

    Ask yourself this question… if scholarship football players were no longer a thing like Ivy League schools, would fans still attend games? The games might not be generating money hand over fist, but since a lot of that is MY money, that doesn’t seem so unappealing to me. If the athletic departments no longer receive the largest chunk of that money, they may be willing to dissolve into their universities and do away with the big-money, big-problem football/basketball dream. Not now and not yet. But, what is the endgame?

    • This is why the suits running college football should get their heads out of their collective asses/the sand and figure out a strategy that both sides can accept that doesn’t bankrupt the schools.

      There is so much money flowing into CFB now, that it shouldn’t be an insurmountable task. But I quit underestimating the ability of Emmert to do stupid a long time ago.

      • Agree with both points. Both sides need to realize that they have the potential to kill the golden-egg laying goose, and find a middle ground that neither is gonna love, but both can live with.

      • GaskillDawg

        Amen amen amen amen. Those who bitch about the NLRB rulings, court ruling and congressional action should also bitch about NCAA leadership that allowed the NLRB, the courts and congress get involved in the first place.

        It is folks’ right to say, “Screw you. Sue me” rather than negotiate. They should not complain when the party with who they refuse to negotiate sues them.

      • DawgByte

        When you boil this frog down, MONEY is at the root cause of this problem. Solving a problem based on the root cause is not wise on any level. It’s like saying, “Oh we have a massive deficit, let’s spend more money to get out of it.” It’s non-sensical to the average person with an I.Q. over 14.

        Part of this issue is seeded in perception. The average American has no idea the financial value of an athletic scholarship and the perks associated with it. These athletes are students first and they are in no way shape or form treated the same as the rest of the student body. Providing collective bargain rights opens the door to massive potentials for abuse and will increase the divide between schools with means and those with little. Moreover it will increase the divide between athletes that play football and basketball and those in other sports. Again, in an attempt to legislate “FAIRNESS”, liberals will make a bigger mess through unintended consequences.

        Lastly enforcement of existing NCAA rules is virtually impossible with abuse taking place across the country, leading to more regulation and in turn more abuse. This decision by these players to sue over the right to unionize and the NLRB granting that request; if upheld, will open a pandora’s box of potential problems and will render future oversight impossible. It staggers the logical mind how some of you can’t see the perils of this path!

        • All the more reason to find common ground for a settlement, don’t you think?

        • I Wanna Red Cup

          Are you Mark Emmert?

        • GaskillDawg

          Since you can see the perils of going down a path when the students turn to the NLRB and the courts you would have negotiated with them to keep the students from going to the NLRB and the courts, right? If so, you would have been smarter than Emmert. If there is in fact a peril in going down a certain path smart people avoid doing something that will place them on that path, The arrogant don’t.

  10. AlphaDawg

    Give Harry a few weeks and he’ll deny he ever mentioned underwear.

  11. Derrek Dooley

    We instructed our players at UT to shower with their underwear on so that they could get a free wash out of the deal.

  12. Bulldog Joe

    Double-cashing a $71.50 check can wash a lot of underware.

  13. Normaltown Mike

    College athletes should definitely listen to Dingy Harry. If anyone in the United States knows how to parlay millions from a modest salary as a public servant, it’s Harry Reid.

    Dude has worked as an elected official for 40 years, but somehow is worth millions.

    Biden, by contrast, has worked as an elected official for 40 years and had a negative net worth as recently as 2008.

    This is not a slight on Ole Joe. But an observation that being a public servant in “The Silver State” somehow pays better than being from “The Blue Hen State”

  14. Harry Reid is bought and owned by the unions in Nevada. Enough said.

    His statements are opportunistic to expand the influence of unions. Nothing more, nothing less.

    He has less of a heart for the athlete than Emmert and the Indianapolis idiots.

    • GaskillDawg

      Then why is Emmert and the NCAA so stupid as to take a stance with the players that gives someone so bad a chance to exert influence?

      The NCAA could have cut off these issues by giving players some concessions but chose to take a stance that opens the door to people you do not like to make chances.

      A smart leader understands the landscape in which he is operating. Emmert and the NCAA member colleges failed to do that. That is the point of this thread, not whether you like Harry Reid or not.

      • The NCAA is made up of a bunch of corrupt idiots. Harry Reid is a miserable and corrupt old man with the levers of government power at his disposal. I can’t stand either one of them.

  15. Jawgaqdawg

    Harry Reid doesn’t even know how to wash his own underwear. That’s why he and all the other members of Congress stink so badly. Emmert in particular, and the NCAA in general better regroup and regroup quickly. ANY time you have a congressman/woman say they’ll do anything they can to help you are in for a world of trouble!!

  16. Dog in Fla

    Today’s entertaining episode of ‘Harry Choked a Man on Fremont Street Just to Watch Him Die’ will be followed by tomorrow’s show, ‘When Harry Met Nancy’ to discuss the House Minority Leader’s audience audition soundtrack for the next Dan Issa production of the House Un-American Labor Activities Witch Hunt for Benghazi, Ben Gazzara and David Ben-Gurion at which Chairman Issa is expected to set off car alarms, start a fire and introduce legislation for mandatory trans-vaginal probe insertion for any and all bargaining unit representatives regardless of race, creed, color or gender

  17. uglydawg

    The only thing I’m interested in hearing Harry Reid say is, “I’m going to attept to broad-jump across the Grand Canyon”.