Congressional bill introduced would allow college athletes to form unions, become employees


MplsGopher_fan

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Yeah, a whole mess with them being employees. After they graduate, do they qualify for unemployment since they aren't on the team anymore? And just wait until the unions acted like they did with the auto companies. Imagine the Pac12 players threatening to strike while other conferences play (kinda like how they'd strike at Ford and not GM, and so eventually Ford would have to cave in). Of course, the SEC would run wild with this and no more Rashad Bateman's to Minnesota. And people would constantly be looking to transfer to a place that provides more money. Dumb idea.
 

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Not trying to be overdramatic but this could ruin college sports as we know them. I'm not sure I want to watch a minor league team that just happens to carry the name of my alma mater.
 

Taji34

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While I am in support of this type of move, remember that for a union to be effective they need to have enough people decide to unionize. It's not like they are allowed to unionize and suddenly every DI school has a Student Athlete Union. Here's an important bit:
The new bill would establish each athletic conference as a bargaining unit, giving players in those conferences the ability to organize and bargain for changes in compensation, working conditions, hours and more.
As far as I understand union laws in the US this would mean 50%+1 of all student athletes in a conference would have to vote to unionize to start collective bargaining.
 

Some guy

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I’m not sure people in Congress realize this but like 99% of college athletes bring zero additional revenue than a random replacement off the street.

So I have a hunch that this won’t go well for anyone.
 


WoodburyTim

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I’m not sure people in Congress realize this but like 99% of college athletes bring zero additional revenue than a random replacement off the street.

So I have a hunch that this won’t go well for anyone.

They don't and have admitted they have no idea how to actually implement this effectively, but also know from comments like the above that there are a lot of people like Taji34, who likes the way this sounds. And you get elected to Congress being in favor for things that sound good, not things that will work.
 


laazrakit

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I'm not sure I want to watch a minor league team that just happens to carry the name of my alma mater.
Let the NFL start it's own minor league. If a player doesn't want to go to college, let 'em go play pro football. Sure, it would water down the talent level of FBS teams, but so be it.
 

4four4

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You could always pay them but take away the free tuition/room and board. Might be a net money maker for the schools.
They will ask for $100,000 per year if Minnesota doesn't I will go to another school who will. That's what I see happening here.
 



4four4

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Let the NFL start it's own minor league. If a player doesn't want to go to college, let 'em go play pro football. Sure, it would water down the talent level of FBS teams, but so be it.
Correct. Junior Football League and Junior Basketball League.
 

Some guy

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Let the NFL start it's own minor league. If a player doesn't want to go to college, let 'em go play pro football. Sure, it would water down the talent level of FBS teams, but so be it.
Yeah. I feel like this actually go worse for players than they think. All colleges might go the non scholarship way.
The institutions drive the viewership as much or more than the players in most cases.

which is why wake forest can stay afloat but the XFL can’t
 


MplsGopher_fan

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As far as I understand union laws in the US this would mean 50%+1 of all student athletes in a conference would have to vote to unionize to start collective bargaining.
And all it takes is just one conference to have it happen and then every conference must follow suit or lose all it's talent. It might be a good way to bring tOSU down to the level of the rest of us - wait until some other conference does this and then all of tOSU talent will leave. Ha!

But on a more serious note, I could easily see it passing because of the number of players who would realize this is their only chance to get paid to play. The NFL got it's season expanded to 17 games because the low paid players who probably won't be set for life wanted the extra game. The star players sure didn't. I'd see that here: a backup player would love to get paid before he graduates and enters the real world. So instead of transferring down to get playing time, he'll vote to unionize, and get paid to ride the bench.
 



Bob_Loblaw

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I think college sports are clearly messed up. I also think that the students should be able to be paid for whatever work they do. If someone is willing to pay them money, they should be able to make some money. I don't love the idea of a young adult, especially one from a poorer background, who is good enough to make the university a lot of money but not good enough to make it in the NFL not getting a cut. That said, I don't think forming a union at a public school makes any sense, so I think this method will be catastrophic. I don't see how college sports could survive this type of upheaval.

I wonder if some concessions a few years ago could have changed things. Let the players make money off their likeness. The stars will make money and the vast majority of people might get some free apparel or chipotle (which is like gold to the average college kid). I don't know if that would have prevented anything.
 

MplsGopher_fan

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I think college sports are clearly messed up. I also think that the students should be able to be paid for whatever work they do. If someone is willing to pay them money, they should be able to make some money. I don't love the idea of a young adult, especially one from a poorer background, who is good enough to make the university a lot of money but not good enough to make it in the NFL not getting a cut. That said, I don't think forming a union at a public school makes any sense, so I think this method will be catastrophic. I don't see how college sports could survive this type of upheaval.

I wonder if some concessions a few years ago could have changed things. Let the players make money off their likeness. The stars will make money and the vast majority of people might get some free apparel or chipotle (which is like gold to the average college kid). I don't know if that would have prevented anything.
Do you support a $15 minimum wage? I sure don't. But think of all those people laboring so that the executives at McD's get nice bonuses. I'm not trying to go off-topic here at all, so please, let's not derail this. But for the same reason I don't mind $8/hour for McD's employees is why I don't mind the setup for college football players. The system just won't work if we give them money. The NFL would not be where it is at if it wasn't for a salary cap. I'd say free college, free room & board, and free training for a potential NFL career is a decent return.

Plus, the guys who aren't good enough for the NFL aren't the ones making the universities a lot of money. It's the jersey that makes the money, not the athlete in it. Replace any single Gopher on the roster with a walk on, or heck, don't replace that Gopher at all, and how much money would the U of M lose out on? None. TV contract money is still the same, etc.
 

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The real answer would be a cap on how much the conferences can make from their TV deals and such. The only thing that has changed is that a massive amount of TV money has been pouring in in the last 20 years. That's it. Just set the per-team TV revenue at a cap of $5M/year and then lower rates for your TV commercials, etc. Bring in less revenue and these congress-people and such would shut up about paying players.
 

Pompous Elitist

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Ironic, as the ensuing arms race will certainly destroy non-revenue sports to the extent allowable by law - and decrease interest in the current product.



“Trahan, who played volleyball at Georgetown before her time in Congress, said that the NCAA uses a system that "collects massive amounts of revenue off the backs of unpaid labor, funnels it upward, and offers no way for athletes to negotiate the compensation, safety, or playing conditions they're owed."

"It's time to finally end amateurism as we know it," she said in statement Thursday morning.”
 

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Ironic, as the ensuing arms race will certainly destroy non-revenue sports to the extent allowable by law - and decrease interest in the current product.



“Trahan, who played volleyball at Georgetown before her time in Congress, said that the NCAA uses a system that "collects massive amounts of revenue off the backs of unpaid labor, funnels it upward, and offers no way for athletes to negotiate the compensation, safety, or playing conditions they're owed."

"It's time to finally end amateurism as we know it," she said in statement Thursday morning.”
I'll bet her Georgetown volleyball team was just raking in money. How dare they not share it with her.
 


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This will create way more problems than it will solve, but that describes most of what congress does.
 

4four4

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The system just won't work if we give them money. The NFL would not be where it is at if it wasn't for a salary cap. I'd say free college, free room & board, and free training for a potential NFL career is a decent return.
Maybe that's the ultimate goal here to bring down college sports in America. This way the schools can eventually get rid of their athletic departments and focus on academics. Undoubtedly, we will see 16 to 20 years old kids playing in semi-pro Junior Football Leagues and Junior Basketball Leagues.
 

4four4

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This will create way more problems than it will solve, but that describes most of what congress does.
Or maybe congress wants to ultimately help disband college athletics all together.
 

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I agree.

I think it is an overreaching reaction to a problem of college players feeling entitled (the whiny superstars who feel they have more coming to them for use of their likeness in marketing and promotions). Colleges need to guarantee athletes a four year education at a minimum plus health benefits until they graduate once they signed their LOI.

If this is the case why doesn't the NFL start a semi-pro league as suggested and have these whiny athletes skip going to college and allow them to get paid for their services.

How far down do you apply this unionization? D1, D1A, DII, DIII? Most athletic programs are going to fold because they can barely stay afloat with Title IX requirements. The lesser programs are either going to fold or cut deeply into other sports.

Only a handful of the players (~350 per year) are going to get drafted and end up in the NFL or CFL. They want to be rewarded more than the rest of the team.

I may be in left field, but for the benefit of a few, they are going to sacrifice programs going bankrupt or opting out.

Ask any regular student whose family have to sacrifice a lot and the student loan debts how much it takes to get a four year education. These athletes are getting a free ride already for their services. Let's just make sure that they are guaranteed an education.

Football and basketball are going to reward the superstars at the expense of everybody else.

Something is totally messed up.
 
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Plato

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The chance of any bill introduced on Congress eventually being signed by the president is very, very low.
Do not get your shorts in bundle.
This bill was just a shot across the bow of the NCAA to recognize many "student athletes" are often not students and if they-are injured or do not play professionally are left without a degree and poor job prospects.
Tightening the rules to who gets to be admitted and punishing schools that do not achieve graduation rates would be a first step.
 

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Exploitation by some big college football programs happen. A guaranteed graduation threshold is a good idea in addition to tightening down on students who want to 'play school" like the big basketball programs where the athletes are there for one year before entering the NBA. That is a joke.
 

short ornery norwegian

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No chance this gets through Congress. The Republicans would strongly oppose anything with "union" in the bill. If it somehow got through the House, the Senate would filibuster it.

This amounts to Democrats grandstanding to show the unions that they support unions, so that the unions will keep making campaign contributions.

Not worth worrying about.
 

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The NIL legislation will allow monetization of social media, endorsements, etc. The amateurism model is already dying if not already dead. The courts have largely protected a principled devotion to amateurism but if the NCAA itself is not dedicated to it...all bets are off. If state or federal legislatures do not push through agent-friendly legislation then the courts might. Slippery slope, and so on.

The big pot of gold is TV broadcasts and publicity rights. Currently AFAIK most states exempt game broadcasts from publicity rights but of course if legislation changes, as it sometimes can, and one state domino falls...are negotiations between agent-led consortiums or conventional (employed athlete) unions and the NCAA, conferences, or tv networks entirely out of the question. I don’t know. Any relevant legal expertise out there?

Regardless of unionization, the imminent NIL changes July 1 and the widespread entrance of savvy and unsavory agents into the lives of sometimes unsophisticated high school athletes and their families is going to have unintended side effects we can only begin to guess at. Tampering, coercion, bribery is now “legal” through back channels and third parties, in practice if not in intent. Agents will compete with coaches as far as promoting social media, endorsement audiences and profit-making potential. To say nothing of team morale and cohesion with unequal endorsements, income.

The golden age of amateur college athletics may be over.
 

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Ironic, as the ensuing arms race will certainly destroy non-revenue sports to the extent allowable by law - and decrease interest in the current product.



“Trahan, who played volleyball at Georgetown before her time in Congress, said that the NCAA uses a system that "collects massive amounts of revenue off the backs of unpaid labor, funnels it upward, and offers no way for athletes to negotiate the compensation, safety, or playing conditions they're owed."

"It's time to finally end amateurism as we know it," she said in statement Thursday morning.”
Capitalism has a funny way of doing that.
 

Pompous Elitist

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There has been and will be numerous legislative initiatives announced this year, all subject to and pending the Supreme Court antitrust decision coming down in late June. Senator Cory Booker’s revenue sharing legislation is interesting. Under his plan Minnesota would be required to share certain percentage of revenue - approximately 40M in FY 2019 - with revenue sport athletes. This may, of course, have some impact on the athletic department‘s ability to fund non-revenue programs. Sure, there is fat on the budget but I’m fairly certain a 40M hit would torpedo certain interested parties. Would the legislature approve student fees or general fund revenue to cover the cost?


 

hungan1

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There has been and will be numerous legislative initiatives announced this year, all subject to and pending the Supreme Court antitrust decision coming down in late June. Senator Cory Booker’s revenue sharing legislation is interesting. Under his plan Minnesota would be required to share certain percentage of revenue - approximately 40M in FY 2019 - with revenue sport athletes. This may, of course, have some impact on the athletic department‘s ability to fund non-revenue programs. Sure, there is fat on the budget but I’m fairly certain a 40M hit would torpedo certain interested parties. Would the legislature approve student fees or general fund revenue to cover the cost?


It's a kill-joy legislation for the interest in the end for a very select entitled athletes. $40 mil from the U for revenue sharing? Who is entitled to what? Who will lose out? Greed and exploitation are the ruination of college sports.

Just guarantee that each athlete who signed a LOI will receive 4 year college education at a minimum, and health benefits while they are enrolled students. Get rid of the one and done in basketball. Make it a mandatory completion X number of years of college with good academic standing for all athletes. The school invested heavily in free college education (and hopefully health & well-being benefits) into these athletes. In exchange, they provider their services to a football program. IMHO, that is payment enough.

Why not jump to the pros from HS? Or like others say, the NFL should start a development league of their own. Doesn't the NBA have that already?
 




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