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Politics // The Right Price
Larry Price

Saying No To College Athletes’ Union

One of the hottest topics in college athletics right now is the possibility that the National Labor Relations Board will rule in favor of college football players organizing a players union. It is based on the assumption that some players are given scholarships to perform an athletic service.

Money and ego are what this proposal is all about. It’s very flattering to be recruited to play at for a big program. The money these big schools spend on recruiting top athletes is truly impressive.

I imagine it depends on whether you had any experience playing a college sport when you entered college or, better yet, if you were recruited to play a collegiate sport by a generous alumni member. There are strict rules on how, when and where players can be recruited, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) constantly is trying to keep the recruiting process under control.

If the proposal to allow college players to unionize is realized, it could make many of its rules unenforceable.

However, it might be a blessing for the colleges. Imagine if all collegiate sports used Major League Baseball’s plan to get around the NCAA. It has a plan now where it drafts players from all over the world while they are still in high school. They are made an offer they can’t refuse, finish school – or accept a lucrative bonus, be assigned to a minor league team and go to college on the off-season while making millions of dollars. Which would you choose?

If you add the element of a career-ending injury and the medical cost of rehabilitation, it becomes a big decision. For that reason, it makes the decision much easier for most of the 10 percent who are blessed to be physically gifted. It will be interesting to see if the officials of the NCAA testify at the hearing, which is sure to capture international attention, because of the search for talent – that 10 percent physically talented.

It’s easy for the athletes to feel sorry for themselves when you read about the millions of schools are making off athletes, the amount of money they make for the school while advertising their programs and star athletes and highly paid coaches.

Well, they shouldn’t, because athletics are just games played by kids. They qualify to play if they do everything every other student on the college campus does. If they don’t make the grade point, they are out of school.

So if they don’t make the grade, they don’t get the benefits of the education and may get a concussion in the process.

Hopefully, the National Labor Relations Board will make an intelligent decision and let the NCAA handle the college campus, high salaries and huge stadiums.

ksskcoach@aol.com

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