Today the NLRB regional director ruled that college athletes at Northwestern could organize into a union to pursue a cut of the money that is college sports. Understandably, the NCAA is unhappy . . . . because those big paychecks they get are in jeopardy. For far too long college sports have been, in part, a farm club for all but baseball, and a plantation system to gaining riches on the backs of the athletes.
Think about it . . . . a student takes any sort of reward and that student is punished with the loss of position and/or scholarship. But the NCAA and the school reap untold profits in what would be, in the business world, a monopoly. And the students, if they want to play have to go along – they even have no rights to their own image ever again for their college years.
The coach at Northwestern defended the system by pointing out they care about the athlete as a student and want them to graduate. But if a student on scholarship gets cut from the team, they lose that scholarship. If the coach doesn’t deliver a winning team, he loses his job. The program is not about graduating students, it’s about attracting the best players and having a winning program to make as much money as possible.
The NCAA has a basic conflict of interest. It’s suppose to be the regulatory body of sports, but they are making a ton of money by selling the media rights to games. Their interest has become maintain the cash cow, not do what is best for the athletes. The NCAA works hand in glove with schools to maintain this system.
And to put a fine point on it, the prime tool the NCAA has to punish schools is limiting the number of scholarships a school is allowed. Too few scholarships and a school can’t attract good players, the school doesn’t make the money the subsidize the school and the coach and the athletic director will need to fine new jobs. It’s about the money thru and thru.
It’s time this system ended and schools organized their own business functions like pro sports do, the NCAA goes back to being an honest broker and the athletes get a cut of the money that they generate for the school along with having endorsement deals.