Today, in stupid questions about a players’ union

John Thompson, former college basketball coach and current concern troll:

“Can you fire somebody if he doesn’t perform?” Thompson asked.

Gee, I don’t know, John.  Let’s ask Nick Saban.


Filed under Look For The Union Label

43 responses to “Today, in stupid questions about a players’ union

  1. Rock and Roll Rebel

    Put it in the contract…

  2. Gaskilldawg

    Like schools did in 1972 or so when all scholarships became one year scholarships renewable at the sole, unfettered discretion of Coach John Thompson and the rest of the college coaches.

  3. reipar

    This has the real opportunity to become a huge positive for UGA. No more pretense of student athletes. There could be nationwide punishment standards, do away with any over signing rules, and let coaches freely cut players they no longer want. UGA would finally be on the same playing field as what a lot of other teams already do. Best of all it would all be above board and out in the open. This is a business all about winning.

    • This is exactly what I don’t get from some getting their panties in a wad over this. It’s a perfect opportunity for schools who try to do things the right way – I assume most of us would at least credit Georgia for that to some extent – to take the lead in leveling the playing field with other programs. If managed properly, how is that a bad thing?

      • Always Someone Else's Fault

        That’s not happening without a split in the membership, is it?

      • Dawgfan Will

        Cuz it’s librul.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Some panties are in a wad over something that has no immediate impact on Georgia. The NLRB decision ONLY applies to private schools.

        Obviously that could change, I guess, but I doubt I will care when a pretty young nurse is putting molasses on my grits in the nursing home.

        The more potent question, it seems to me is: If you accept that players are employees. Then how long do they have to stay at Georgia till they are vested in the state retirement fund?

        Two things seem to get some of us going…the mention of a union of any kind, and the slightest suggestion a Democrat has more than shit for brains.

        • The NLRB ruling doesn’t even have an immediate impact on private schools. It’ll take a while to sort out. But over the long haul, assuming unionization does occur at private schools, it will have a diffused impact across CFB.

          • Cojones

            Especially since many states in the SEC have Right To Work laws. The impact timing is just waiting on the Barrister flood.

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            If Vandy accepts the union, does this mean that only players who are registered Democrats will be suited up for the game.

            Hey…it’s as logical as some a this shit.

        • Cosmic Dawg

          So when a blogger posts about unions and things that “smart” Democrats are saying, any conservatives with opposing opinions ought to just STFU?

          Or perhaps we should follow Reipar’s brilliant “America – Love It Or Leave It” style advice posted below.

          Gotcha….this feels so…not progressive.

      • “If managed properly”? We’re talking about college presidents, athletics directors, etc, right?

      • reipar

        I think it is a great thing! We have the opportunity to be on a level playing field. I am sure there will be a split where some schools will not want to admit college football is not what it once was, but the vast majority of the schools will make the move and still make money hand over fist. I am sure there will still be conferences, but I imagine the NCAA will either be replaced or modified into more of a league office overseeing all the conferences.

        If you look at the move to playoffs, the possibility of a union, the very real likelihood that the players are going to get some type of compensation, and the fact over signing and cutting of players already goes on this all seems like the natural evolution of the game. I for one am excited to see us have a chance in the (very likely soon to be) expanded playoffs and those who have their “panties in a wad” and think this is killing the game can go find another game.

  4. Ralph

    I don’t think there will be ONE union contract for all of the schools. Each school’s employees (players) will have to vote if they want to join a union. If the UGA players don’t vote in the union, there will be no changes made. I don’t see a nationwide punishment standard.

  5. Spence

    Senator, how much do you think the unions would provoke a Mark Cuban type to start a competing, for-pay D-league? Theory being, if this is an open market where players are workers, would someone with more experience in such a model come along and start a competitive league where feel like they have a competitive advantage over colleges who haven’t done this before? All someone has to do is pay players more than colleges will and they’ll flock there.

    • You’re right about that, and I would welcome it. A legit minor league option would take a ton of pressure off CFB.

      But I don’t see it happening.

    • I still say I don’t see how anyone other than the NFL could do it profitably. I mean, 90,000 people aren’t gonna show up watch D-league games. Basketball and Baseball teams can do it because they play a lot of home games. So even if you only make a little bit of money on each game, that adds up over the season and makes it worth having a minor league franchise. But if you’ve only got 6 or 7 home games and you’re drawing 5,000 people per game, there’s no payoff there for anybody, especially if you’re trying to pay to have the same level of coaching, facilities, etc as the colleges.

      Plus, the major league teams eventually receive a payoff when the prospects develop and play for their team. If all you own is the D-League and never get the payoff of the players making it to the big leagues, I just don’t see where anybody can do it and make money. People argue that TV money could make up the difference, but I can’t think of any minor league TV contract that is of any size. Only the NFL would have the weight with the networks to almost impose their will into getting TV exposure.

      • James

        Also team and coach size — 10 to 15 players, a couple of coaches, no substantive equipment. Pro football teams cover that just in position coaches.

        I agree the main issue here is you need tribalism to get fans (and, more to the point, their money). The one long shot I can see, that I would be interested in, is a league where you organize teams by geography of player origin. Something like a minor league that plays on the Big 33 games you see (eg Ohio HS all stars vs PA HS all stars).

        But really, even that still probably needs NFL-forced bundling to get picked up…

  6. Spike

    A union member getting fired for not performing? Wow, what planet has he been on?

  7. Bulldog Joe

    Let’s ask Nick Saban.

    If history is any indicator, Saban already has an assistant determining which UA boosters are best suited to “represent” the athletes. UA has an excellent law school.

    Another opportunity to win off-the-field and stack the deck in your favor…

  8. Class of '98

    John Thompson, “concern troll”

    Everyone who holds a differing opinion from you is not a “troll”.

    Someone disagrees with you and the best you can do is call them a “troll”? If nothing else, at least try to be more creative and original.

    Calling everyone a troll makes this website look amateurish. Take the advice or not, I don’t really care.

    • I didn’t call everyone a troll.

      I didn’t call Thompson a concern troll because of a difference of opinion. I called him that because he’s asking a question to which he already knows the answer. (Hence the Nick Saban reference.)

      Other than that, thanks for your advice.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I have plenty of opinions that differ from yours, Senator, and I admit it–I AM a troll.🙂

      • 81Dog

        was that dude trolling?

        John Thompson isn’t a troll because he opposes keeping college athletes on “the plantation.” He’s a troll because he was fine with keeping them on HIS plantation, because he knew so much better than everyone else who wasn’t named John Thompson, especially for you if you were 6’8″ and could take it to the hoop.

    • Hackerdog

      Come on. There are some legitimate drawbacks to players unionizing. But opening themselves up to being fired isn’t one of them. I’ll assume that Thompson knew this and he was just trying to make an over-the-top point about how awful unionizing would be.

      Of course, I imagine his opinion would differ if we were talking about a coach’s union. That might just work.

  9. Will Trane

    May I troll in here for awhile.
    What do those guys really want? Guess the same thing those educators want. They are union members. Unfortunately those teachers and etc just do not see the beast coming over the mountain re their salaries and perks. Taxpayers are trolling to end those defined benefit plans and not being covered under SSA, but covered under Medicare. Take a look at the codes on their W-2s. That union in the education profession is on the verge of going where the auto unions and others. Just take a peek at Detriot.
    All about money. You can begin to write off women sports at the collegiate ranks now.

    • Ask Decory Bryant about money, and the countless others who’ve suffered serious injury for the Red and Black, and had to fight the university beyond what most would hope for just to get some cover for the medical issues they incurred, again WHILE HELPING THE UNIVERSITY BRING IN MILLIONS AS HIS COACHES, AND THEIR BOSSES CASHED 6-7 FIGURE SALARIES.

      • Normaltown Mike

        Is UGA an insurance provider? If a student injures himself with his protractor during the Math Club deMathlon, do they cover his expenses? What about if he’s on a Math scholarship? What if he’s an employee of the Math dept, cleaning the chalk boards every night?


        Just curious.

        • What if he’s an employee of the Math dept, cleaning the chalk boards every night?

          Answer to that one is, yes, UGA carries worker’s comp.

        • How many kids suffer significant, life altering injuries, as mathletes? Now let me introduce you to Eric LeGrand, Jonathon Taylor, and others.

          • 81Dog

            and in the normal course of their performance as mathletes, to boot. It’s a stupid attempt at a parallel, because it isn’t the same thing at all.

    • Hackerdog

      I’m just as opposed to public sector pensions as anyone else. But we’re a looooong way from players asking for pensions. If we get there, I’ll probably oppose it. But asking an SEC team to spend an extra $100k per season on catastrophic insurance policies doesn’t seem that unreasonable.

      • Macallanlover

        No it doesn’t, and good managers should make good decisions. But there is a difference between asking them to add this and putting a gun next to their head and threatening to shut down a game with a walkout if they don’t get exactly what they want. I am all for criticizing the current powers that be for some very poor decisions, but I don’t want CFB to be subjected to union strong arm tactics. Big difference from having a seat at the table and being able to kill the golden goose because they don’t accept your every demand.

        • Mac, serious question. Knowing what you know about how the NCAA/college power structure has behaved, if you were advising the student athletes about how to be taken seriously and you advised against unionization, what practical course of action would you suggest that could work?

          • Macallanlover

            That is a great question. Over the past 2-3 years, the threat of collective actions and lawsuits have paved the way for much greater receptivity by the NCAA and the universities to address, and accept, reforms. While I don’t approve of unions as the answer, I haven’t given much thought to the actual face of who should lead the charge but you are right, somebody has to tote the ball.

            Off the top of my head I feel that representative group should come from outside the current governing groups but should have experience as former players, coaches, and ADs that would come from a cross section of geographies. Names like Archie Manning, Vince Dooley, Tony Dorsett, Tom Osbourne, etc, come to mind as being articulate and all seem to be individuals that are balanced in their views. There are probably hundreds of excellent candidates, some with legal backgrounds, that have the time to get involved and would have the creds necessary to give confidence to both sides. I think the time is right for their recommendations to get a fair hearing and lead to some immediate actions. The “toxic option” of unionization looming in the background would insure that, imo.

  10. Hank

    If the football team unionizes and creates an environment different from all other university football teams, does the NCAA have to recognize it? Plenty of businesses have had specific locations or even all locations in a state go union and the day the union took over the doors were chained shut. What is to stop the NCAA from blackballing a unionized team due to a different set of rules?

    • GaskillDawg

      There are a lot of hysteria about unionized players demanding their school pay them. The word “union” causes some to reflexively lose their reason.

      If the NRLB and the courts uphold the hearing officer’s ruling and the Northwester players vote to form a collective bargaining organization the players know that Northwester cannot, as a result of bargaining with its students, unilaterally change the NCAA by-laws. The players know that if Northwestern agreed to pay them they would not play in any games because they would be ineligible to play any NCAA opponents. The players are not going to ask for and Northwestern is not going to agree, to benefits that violate the NCAA rules.

      Therefore, without change at the NCAA level, Vanderbilt will not be offering higher salaries to recruits than UGA does. The issues on which the Northwestern players will bargain with the school are issues that do not affect eligibility, such as health insurance coverage, whether coaches limit transferring players’ choices, whether a staff member has to approve a travel home to see the folks itinerary and stuff like that.

      That is not to say that players would not want to be able to bargain for pay, but that would only happen if, as a result of bargaining between individual schools and its students, causes enough schools to vote for rules changes.