As much as everyone keeps focusing on the money, the real threat of unionization is to control. Gene Stallings is no fan of the NLRB ruling.
“I’m not for a players’ union,” Stallings said Friday night before his speech celebrating the 10th anniversary of Ability Plus. “First of all, you don’t go to college to play football. You don’t go there to work. You go to college for an education. Education is the key. If you’re going to unionize the players, you unionize the entire student body.”
Stallings noted that one reason offered for a union is the health of the players.
“I don’t know anybody that doesn’t take care of their players when they’re injured,” he said. “I read one of the reasons (to unionize) was so they could get full medical attention. I think everybody gets that anyway.”
Sure they do, Gene. Just ask Decory Bryant.
Anyway, Coach Stallings knows what it takes to fix things – a little “laundry money” and player dorms.
“Where the NCAA is hurting, you can’t hardly pick up the paper any more without reading about somebody getting in trouble at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning,” he said. “Because there are no longer athletic dorms, when the players are scattered off everywhere, it’s hard to keep control of them. One thing I know about competitive athletics, you’ve got to sleep properly and you’ve got to eat properly. We can’t feed them three meals a day and you can’t keep them where we can sorta check on them.”
At least he’s not subtle about it.
But he’s not as inspiring as constitutional scholar Tom Izzo, who must have his kids ready to run through brick walls for him when they hear stuff like this:
“I think sometimes we take rights to a whole new level,” Izzo said. “ . . . I think there’s a process in rights. And you earn that. We always try to speed the process up. I said to my guys, ‘There’s a reason you have to be 35 to be president.’ That’s the way I look at it.”
People earning rights. That’s what’s made America great. Forget those pesky Amendments granting things. The Founding Fathers never had to coach college athletes.
(By the way, that whole Jenkins piece is more than a little embarrassing. Comparing Kane Colter to Che Guevara? Insisting that Kwame Brown would have benefitted more from a couple of years in college than getting paid millions? We’ve got commenters here who’ve made more coherent arguments against unionization than Jenkins.)
While we’re hearing from basketball coaches, Jim Boeheim is always good for a laugh.
Anyway, back to the main point. Control. I suspect this is where the unionization battle is going to play out.
Far less enthused was Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), a former U.S. Department of Education secretary and former president of the University of Tennessee.
“Imagine a university’s basketball players striking before a Sweet 16 game demanding shorter practices, bigger dorm rooms, better food and no classes before 11 a.m.,” he said. “This is an absurd decision that will destroy intercollegiate athletics as we know it.”
Expect a lot more of that kind of talk as things proceed.