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When the exciting news broke today about the NLRB ruling granting preliminary support for Northwestern college football players to form a union, I quickly came over to DKos to read the reactions from Laura Clawson and others. I expected to see jubilation - as this is the first great step to ending a college athletic system that exploits athletes and makes hundreds of millions of dollars in profit for the NCAA and for colleges that spend millions on lavish stadiums and training facilities, as well as coaches' salaries and that of sports administrators. These schools then take no long term responsibility for injuries to these players (which was why the term "student-athlete" was created in the first place to avoid worker compensation claims) or to the job prospects or educational opportunity for many of these players after they graduate or get kicked out of their sport.

Yet, in entering the comment section on this topic - I was appalled to find not just the usual smattering of anti-union comments, but a full blown stream criticizing the ruling and bemoaning that this will either bankrupt college sports (or, my favorite, end scholarships for academic programs as well!!) or creates a sense of entitlement for players who are already given "so much" in the form of scholarships and other perks of being an athlete.

(Follow below as I continue)

This actually isn't the first time I've encountered anti-union and anti-collective bargaining sentiment in recent months. In a smaller proportion, the reaction to diaries about Harris v. Quinn, the Supreme Court's looming decision on Home Care Workers and their organizing in Illinois and other states also contained similar anti-union talking points that I am much more used to seeing on the right-wing websites. Using tropes of "being forced" into a union" or labor organizer out only for the best interest of the union, as opposed to the workers, commenters agreed with many of the arguments being used by the National Right to Work Foundation lawyers funded by our greatest enemies on the extreme right. It is the same rhetoric used by anti-union activists in Chattanooga about private industry too (plus the bankrupting argument...the NCAA and Volkswagen are doing just fine). By the way, the ruling in Harris v. Quinn has the potential to not only overturn the best chance home care workers have to actually build some power in an inherently exploitative industry, but it also may lead to the end of any significant public sector union. Scalito and company are thrilled at the opportunity.

Organizing, in the labor movement and in community organizations, has been the single most effective mechanism to bring large scale change to our county. It has not been at the ballot box - it has been on the street.

Our Home Care system is broken and vicious in its usage of workers, often immigrants and persons of color. It is one of the categoriesof workers originally excluded from labor law in order to placate the Southern Democratic racists during the New Deal period - and still today the residue of this exclusion means that in-home services are provided with little training, little protection and a great deal of money flowing not to workers, but to exploitative bosses. Even in the case of parents and family members who are paid by the State to care for loved ones, this system places their financial well-being at the behest of the state budget process and leaves them largely without a voice.

Our college athletic system is broken too - and goodness knows there has been hundreds of discussions here at DKos about wanting to change the NCAA and do away with many of the rules that harm student athletes and exploit their sports to make millions of dollars for the system and for the colleges themselves who reinvest that money in athletics and not academics.

The only way to fix these systems - short of some kind of benevolent miracle where the bosses in charge of these wonderful wealth generating industries decide to reform from within...is a union for these folks and therefore a collective bargaining process that allows for a more level playing field in the back and forth between administrators and players, bosses and home care workers.

Is today the final word on college athletes forming a union? Of course not. Nor should it be - this has to be a process moving forward to fix a broken system and create a new program that benefits everyone involved, but most of all the actual athletes laboring. It is about allowing the players to be part of making the leagues more equitable. The same goes for home care organizing - these are all part of a long term struggle that obviously doesn't end with the creation of a union. But to simply say that these people do not deserve a voice - or should not be building towards a better system, is wrong headed. I am saddened to see that idea echoed here at DKos.

I look forward to the continued back and forth - we don't change anything by putting our head in the sand and just hoping for change, we have to go out and do it. I am proud of the football players at Northwestern and the hundreds of thousands of home care workers standing up for their rights.

Update: Glad to see the conversation (and some anger too) this diary has stimulated - and thank you for the comments and recs.

I will also point people to a report (PDF) on the 40th anniversary of Title IX in 2012 - it is interesting to me that some folks suggest that these changes would harm female athletics - or bankrupt small school's athletics - when those were the same charges leveled against Title IX at its inception.

Making change means ending the status quo...

Originally posted to Sibling's Keeper on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Barriers and Bridges.

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  •  Tip Jar (294+ / 0-)
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  •  I grew up in a union household (109+ / 0-)

    the Teamsters are why my dad was able to retire early and live a comfortable life.

    unions aren't perfect, but they do make a difference. too bad the Democrats are a bunch of wall street sellouts now a days. I miss when the time when they sold their soul to the unions.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:50:46 PM PDT

  •  DKos is only progressive (86+ / 0-)

    when the issue being discussed doesn't mean empowerment of the working class.

     Oh sure. DKos is all about empowerment of women, minorities, gays, animal lovers, environmentalists, etc. We're for empowerment of pretty much any group that doesn't think of itself in terms of class.
       As long as the idea doesn't upset the status quo, we're good with it. Marx described it as "petite bourgeoisie socialism". Socialism without the revolutionary aspects.

      That's not to say there aren't a bunch of people here that don't conform to this statement. I don't want to paint with too broad of a brush.
       But New Deal Democrats? Nah. That's somewhere else.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:52:38 PM PDT

  •  I had the same reaction. I'm excited as hell (73+ / 0-)

    by this decision. I'm very surprised by the vehemence of its rejection by many Kossacks. Many of the fiercest opponents of this ruling I'm sure are offended by your apt suggestion that they're anti-union. They would describe themselves as strong backers of organized labor, but see this as different... somehow.

    This is the beginning of a long process, not the end of one, but the hypocritical system of unpaid "student athletes" who see not a dollar of the billions they generate is broken beyond repair and needs to be rebuilt fundamentally.

    A minor league system for football and basketball akin to those long in place for baseball and hockey would be an excellent start.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:56:04 PM PDT

    •  the free $100,000 education isn't pay of any type? (8+ / 0-)

      Seems to me there are ways to improve the system, but to claim the student gets nothing from the setup is just wrong.

      Plus once the actual revenue sports like Basketball and Football are neutered, the rest of the sports will be gone as most all athletics, at least here at the U of A, is supported by B-Ball and Football revenues, both are self supporting and support the rest of student athletics as well.... The State does not have the money to make up any shortfall caused by changing the programs....

      Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
      I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
      Emiliano Zapata

      by buddabelly on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:37:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  divide by four .. (46+ / 0-)

        ... to get the equivalent annual salary, and then factor in that big-time college athletes don't really have much time for academics.  Some schools have impressive graduation rates, but profs are often pressured to pass the athletes.

        And then, for football players, there's the brain damage.  A union would be a mechanism to represent the players' interests.  It wouldn't mean that the players get their way on everything, just that they have someone to speak for them.

        •  Throw in arthritis, and other long-term permanent (36+ / 0-)

          ... physical disabilities, and many college athletes lose a lot in the long-run. The tiny fraction who make it to the big leagues end up well off, but the a fairly large fraction of the rest wind up with a lifetime of medical bills, poorly educated, with no financial backstop.

          •  Then maybe they shouldn't take the job? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            canabisflower

            No one is forcing them to play, if they don't like the terms of the deal.  If they don't want to risk a lifetime of injury, then don't play.

            •  Whoa, talk about right wing, libertarian (18+ / 0-)

              talking points.  So instead of improving labor rights, we dismissively tell people not to take the job?  That amounts to a Hobson's Choice.  Fuck that.

              •  Unions don't prevent injuries (0+ / 0-)

                Unions can provide long term health care after an injury takes place, but that may be cold comfort to someone in a wheelchair.
                If a person doesn't want to risk permanent debilitating injury for the hope of a huge payout, then yes they shouldn't take the job.

                •  So it is, in fact, a "job"? (3+ / 0-)

                  Then why does take the NCAA's self-serving fiction that players aren't employees. Why does one insist that these workers should have no rights, no bargaining power, before employers who get rich exploiting their labor?

                  While a union can't prevent a sports injury, a union could advocate for players in negotiating better safety standards & safer working conditions, which should make such injuries less frequent in the future.

                  •  I do support the union, just not at university (0+ / 0-)

                    Yes they are jobs.  Yes the athletes are paid entertainers, not students.  I do want to end the NCAA fiction.  Time to setup NFL and NBA minor league teams that hire 18 year olds right out of high school.  Those will then be real jobs, not pretend students, and can be fully unionized with all sorts of rights and benefits.

                    College sports can then go back to being student hobbies that are not revenue generating.

                    This will make college football much more safe as the huge 300 pounders will all go to the NFL minor leagues, and college football will be much lower energy.
                    But nothing can eliminate injuries from football.  It's a risk the player takes.  The only way to not get hurt is to not play.

                    •  It'll also never happen. (3+ / 0-)

                      I too would like to see all professional sports leagues sponsor farm systems like Major League Baseball does, or Junior Hockey Leagues or developmental leagues or whatever they might be called, then let college teams compete against one another with honest-to-goodness student-athletes. That way, we wouldn't have to continue the farce of college athletes who are professional in all but name. Young athletes who aren't prepared for or wouldn't otherwise be bound for college could develop their skills, play their sport & get paid for the work they do. As things stand now, a gifted 17-year-old football player, if he can't qualify academically & isn't so elite that he can go straight to the NFL, is just out of luck. Career over. Door slammed.

                      I would much like to see that happen. But that's not the world in which we live. College athletics, in particular college football, is deeply ingrained into American culture. Few things stir people's passions, & loyalty to dear old State U., like football glory on Saturday afternoons. For all the brand loyalty, generous donations, media exposure & stature that sports teams engender, colleges are never going to give that up.

                      That said, anything that can give players a voice & some bargaining power within this corrupt & peculiar system certainly would seem worth supporting.

            •  Oooh boy (14+ / 0-)

              If I had a dollar for every time a factory owner, nursing home operator or restaurateur said something similar...as well as early labor law before the SCOTUS actually protected workers

              In fact, my partner once had a Libertarian roommate who refused to tip waiters because, as he put it, "if they don't want to bad pay, they can get another job."

              And - when you say, well this is different, its sports - think through how many people get to university because doors are opened through their athletic ability. For many, its not even close to a choice.

              •  No, your roommate was just a cheapskate (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sethtriggs, Sparhawk

                He asked the waiter to work and live for his sake, then refused to pay for that service.  An honest man would have just refused to go out to eat if he was too cheap to tip the waiters.  Libertarian my ass.  Your roommate was a straight up thief.

                I also disagree about athletics being a door of opportunity.  It's extremely unequal and heavily biased towards physical ability.

                So there are two poor kids in a poor neighborhood.  Both are equally smart, both want to go to college.  One kid can run very, very fast.  The other kid can't.

                The fast kid gets a full ride, maybe he studies hard, maybe he doesn't.  The slow kid goes to work in fast food.

            •  Selective Memory? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dirtandiron, radical simplicity

              Maybe you've forgotten what it's like to be under 20 years old? Maybe you never were a 2, 3, or 4 star recruit for college football or basketball?

              You any idea how joyful and wanted that makes a high school athlete feel? If you're a 3 or 4 star recruit, multiple big time FBS or Men's BB universities will come calling! Who would deny themselves that? I sure wouldn't have all those years ago. Heck, call me shallow, but back in the early 1960s I was thrilled when a player from my HS in LA went to USC on scholarship, and then was 'hired' by the MN Vikings!  

              Just being on an FBS team, or a big basketball conference team, let alone with a scholarship, is an opportunity that few or none at that age can resist. And why should they, at that age? You may think that you are going to live forever, but you also know that time will pass you by if you don't carefully consider the offer.

              So, let's not take advantage of them: if a player is offered a scholarship, and becomes injured to the point where further play is impossible, don't take the scholarship away until at least four years (five if a player is red-shirted). Force universities to take more responsibility for career-ending injuries.

              There is so much money in big-time college football, and big-time men's basketball, that making these changes will not trim programs back much at all. Even a modest stipend/salary, scaled appropriately, for all players will not break the overstuffed piggy bank that most universities with these programs have. JMO...

              You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

              by paz3 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:47:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  25k a year .... (5+ / 0-)

          Assuming that "degree" is even worth 100k, or is 100k even the going rate for that particular school - where often the coach, history, and sports program itself is the athletic draw, and the education is average.

          It's about that shot at the pros, everyone involved knows this.

          “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

          by RUNDOWN on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 11:15:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe require colleges (0+ / 0-)

          to purchase long-term care insurance for every football player -- they could fund that through the memorabilia sales and TV contracts. That would at least take care of any issues that might creep up down the road. (That's actually the biggest issue now in the NFL -- how much should be done for the retirees who are now showing the effects of the game in brain related ailments, as well as leg and back issues.)

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:58:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's pay of a sort when it's freely chosen (43+ / 0-)

        by young athletes who have other options; college baseball players for example.

        Presumably, even if a minor league football system existed, some high school football players would opt for the education and the college experience the way some baseball players do; it would be a bargain freely chosen for them as well.

        When the only realistic way for an athlete with professional aspirations to perfect their skills is to endure an education that they don't particularly want, don't particularly excel at, and often can't particularly even use effectively when it's completed...

        no, that's not "pay."

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:59:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  this is the first valid argument on why they (7+ / 0-)

          should be employees that I have seen yet....

          In a sense, the Colleges forced this by lobbying the NFL and NBA to not take players right out of high school...I agree that a minor league for those who do not want the education would be a good idea....However, so many need that education to earn anything after they blow out a knee in their first pro season that it seems a good idea to keep the college system...

          The degree and the notoriety helps them get decent employment after the pros or hell for the 98% that never make the pros....One change I'd love to see is programs that have poor graduation rates, lose scholarships in direct proportion to the graduation rate.....minus those who leave early for the pros....that isn't the colleges fault while a 5 year player that hasn't graduated is imo.....

          have a 45% grad rate, after 2 years no change, you lose 53% of your scholarships....with a high end cutoff of say 10-15% not graduating as there will be some who can not graduate, just because they can throw a ball doesn't mean they can understand the mathematics and engineering behind what they are doing.....

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:14:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Lots of college grads can't find jobs (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Red Tom Kidd

            I think you may be over optimistic that every pro athlete can fall back on a college degree.

            With so many college grads looking for good jobs, why would the job go to the pro athlete who didn't really care about his classes, versus the academic student who studied hard and aced her classes?

            Shouldn't the jobs go to those for whom learning, not sports, was their full time job in college?  Or is this just another kick in the teeth to the non-jocks?

            •  non-jocks? (0+ / 0-)
              Shouldn't the jobs go to those for whom learning, not sports, was their full time job in college?  Or is this just another kick in the teeth to the non-jocks?
              Well they freely chose not to be athletes.  You see, two can play that libertarian game.

              Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

              by Dirtandiron on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:22:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Not in Division III (19+ / 0-)

        There are plenty of fine colleges who compete at the Division III level that don't give athletic scholarships (not allowed in D3), don't rely on revenue from football and basketball, and who field plenty of competitive teams.  MIT has 33 varsity teams (most in D3, and very few D1 schools offer more), and two years ago made the Final Four in men's basketball.  About 20% of MIT's undergraduates participate in a varsity sport.  There are also club teams, and an extensive intramural program.

        This year's men's Final Four had a mix -- two small, very well-regarded liberal arts colleges from the northeast (Amherst and Williams), a public college from Wisconsin (UW-Whitewater), and an independent private college from Illinois (Illinois Wesleyan).  The final between Williams and UWW was a game for the ages that went down to the final second, when UWW won it on a full-court drive for a layup.

        (I'm not exactly a UWW fan -- they knocked out MIT 2 years ago, with a lot of the same players -- but they have some pretty damned good teams.)

        The problem with athletic scholarships is that it's very clear why those athletes, excuse me, students, are there -- they are there to play their sport and help the school make money.  But I wonder how much of that money ever gets recycled into helping the overall student population, as opposed to paying for big facilities and high-priced big-name coaches.

        •  here the name sports pay for all the sports (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul, Norm in Chicago

          programs male and female.

          We're lucky that we have a very good Basketball program that pays many times over and a football program that is ok but profitable enough to contribute to the other sports also.

          Here, without the money sports, I'd lay odds the rest would be gone as we have a hard enough time getting cash out of the state for the actual education functions.  and tuition has skyrocketed.....and this is with a state constitution that requires college be as inexpensive to the student as possible.

          Luckily, as a major land grant research facility and with a med/research hospital to boot so we get a lot for our buck here imo.....

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:02:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And so the football and basketball players (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Red Tom Kidd, JVolvo, Dirtandiron

            somehow owe their services for free to pay for the rest of the programs?  

            You get a lot for your buck.  The players?  Not so much for their buck.

            Your sense of entitlement to the proceeds generated from the toll taken on these players' bodies is truly amazing.

          •  And that's precisely why (0+ / 0-)

            unionizing scholarship athletes makes sense: the schools are getting a lot of benefit from the athletes' minimally-paid labor, and the athletes don't have a lot of influence over their working conditions.

            Division III is a different matter: those schools are not relying on athletics as a funding source, and athletes are free to leave the team without repercussion to their student status.

        •  It doesn't work? Really? (5+ / 0-)

          At this point I get the sense that the detractors are simply people who dislike jocks in general and want to see athletics go away. Or maybe you're just naive enough to believe the really transparent lies about how no one is making money off of college football.

          All those TV contracts and stadiums and merchandise and coaching salaries and everything else... but they can't seem to make any money off of it. Please, that's just absurd. They're making boatloads of cash off the backs of these kids and it's obscene that people don't see a problem with it.

          You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

          by Eric Stratton on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:35:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree it's a business. And if that business (16+ / 0-)

            cannot succeed without free labor, it should cease to exist.

            If coaches can be paid millions upon millions, players can be paid a fair wage.

            •  Well, I agree completely. (7+ / 0-)

              It appears I misunderstood the argument you were making. I thought you were saying that unionization of college football would be bad because it would bankrupt the schools, so we either should stick with the status quo or cancel athletics altogether.  

              Instead, it appears you are calling the "no money in football" crowd's bluff. I suppose if it were really true that college football was unprofitable, then shuttering these programs would make sense. But that's preposterous. There is plenty of money to go around, the NCAA is simply being greedy.

              You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

              by Eric Stratton on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:33:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  IT'S NOT FREE LABOR (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk

              COllege athletes are paid, on average, more than 100k a year in housing, food, training, tickets, scholarships, travel, etc.

              100k for someone without a college degree is pretty damn good.

              Oh year, and it lasts for 5 years, hello free grad school for simply being large or fast.

              •  You really don't know what goes on (6+ / 0-)

                Don Curtis, a UNC trustee, told me that impoverished football players cannot afford movie tickets or bus fare home. Curtis is a rarity among those in higher education today, in that he dares to violate the signal taboo: “I think we should pay these guys something.”

                Fans and educators alike recoil from this proposal as though from original sin. Amateurism is the whole point, they say. Paid athletes would destroy the integrity and appeal of college sports. Many former college athletes object that money would have spoiled the sanctity of the bond they enjoyed with their teammates. I, too, once shuddered instinctively at the notion of paid college athletes.

                But after an inquiry that took me into locker rooms and ivory towers across the country, I have come to believe that sentiment blinds us to what’s before our eyes. Big-time college sports are fully commercialized. Billions of dollars flow through them each year. The NCAA makes money, and enables universities and corporations to make money, from the unpaid labor of young athletes.

                Slavery analogies should be used carefully. College athletes are not slaves. Yet to survey the scene—corporations and universities enriching themselves on the backs of uncompensated young men, whose status as “student-athletes” deprives them of the right to due process guaranteed by the Constitution—is to catch an unmistakable whiff of the plantation. Perhaps a more apt metaphor is colonialism: college

                sports, as overseen by the NCAA, is a system imposed by well-meaning paternalists and rationalized with hoary sentiments about caring for the well-being of the colonized. But it is, nonetheless, unjust. The NCAA, in its zealous defense of bogus principles, sometimes destroys the dreams of innocent young athletes.

                I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

                by jbou on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 09:11:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Link (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JVolvo, JesseCW, m00finsan, Dirtandiron

                  I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

                  by jbou on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 09:12:33 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  that has exactly nothing to do (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sparhawk

                    with the fact that athletes are already generously paid for their time.

                    In fact, they're paid multiples more than academic scholarship recipients. If college FBall players form a union and demand medical benefits are large salaries, what's stopping physics majors or medical school scholarship recipients.

                    Football players who take school seriously come out of school with no debt, more connections than we could count and a graduate degree in the field of their choice. plus, they get into schools their grades would have never allowed without football.

                    •  Seriously? (6+ / 0-)

                      college football coaches make millions a year and the players don't even get a four-year scholarship it gets renewed year to year by the millionaire coach but only if he didn't find someone better to take that spot.

                      I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

                      by jbou on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 09:34:40 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  most employees (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Sparhawk

                        are on an hour to hour contract, and can be replaced by their boss, who usually makes more money than them, at a moment's notice if they find someone better. It's called real life.

                        If coaches were around kicking players off their team so they could sign another freshmen then players would stop wanting to play for that coach. Does it happen, sure. On a wide scale? not even close.

                        But again, none of that has to do with the fact that football players are already being compensated more than fairly for their time and effort. Over 5 years, it wouldn't be hard to find 400-500k worth of costs for each player that the school paid.

                        Also, the NCAA and athletic departments are more than just fball and bball. It's dozens of other sports than bring in no revenue at all. not a single penny. no donations, no ticket sales, no jersey sales, no TV deals, nothing. bball and fball pay for those sports. Every penny out of the fball budget directly kills another sport and another dozen college graduates every year.

                        •  You're wrong on this issue (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          JesseCW, Dirtandiron

                          I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

                          by jbou on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 10:39:28 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  well thought out retort (0+ / 0-)

                            care to be more specific?

                            do you claim that athletic departments are profitable?

                            Do you claim athletes aren't paid?

                            Do you claim there are vast numbers of athletes cut from teams?

                            do you disagree that fball and bball pay for olympic sports, and without that revenue there would be no olympic sports under the NCAA banner?

                          •  The Olympics? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JesseCW, Freedomfreak, Dirtandiron

                            The world would be better place without the bullshit Olympics. Bunch of kids play their hearts out so NBC and some corporations can sell crap to the masses.

                            Athletes are not paid nearly enough.

                            College athletic departments are out of control.

                            I don't care about the rest of the sports that don't generate revenue.  They should be played on a small scale and the costs controlled. The NBA and the NFL need to create their own minor leagues and the NCAA needs to be burned to the ground.

                            That's why you're wrong.

                            I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

                            by jbou on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:37:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ahh i get it (0+ / 0-)

                            you're just anti-sports. That makes this discussion worthless, because you're not debating the topic, you just want to burn it all to the ground.

                            But, just for clarity on your side:

                            Olympic sports are defined as sports played in the olympics. For instance, most major colleges have a track and field team and a swimming team. these are referred to as olympic sports as colleges, because there is no pro-version to work toward. These sports are paid for by two main sources 1) private donations from former players and 2) revenue from bball and fball.

                          •  I don't care (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JesseCW, Dirtandiron

                            Let NBC pay for the whole thing. Why have colleges foot the bill for training athletes that are going to make billions for corporations?

                            I am not anti sports, I'm anti the NCAA and their hypocrisy and their greed.

                            I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

                            by jbou on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:08:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Democrats see this (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Dirtandiron, jbou
                          most employees (1+ / 0-)

                          are on an hour to hour contract, and can be replaced by their boss, who usually makes more money than them, at a moment's notice if they find someone better. It's called real life.

                          as unjust and support the right of workers to organize in order to change it.

                          People who don't see it as unjust, or who don't think workers should have the right to organize to change it, are by definition not Democrats.

                          •  seeing reality (0+ / 0-)

                            and liking reality are two different things.

                            Organization is great - not being able to see consequences is stupid.

                            You call your stance being a democrat. I call it being a simpleton without the ability to look into the future and do a cost/benefit analysis.

                    •  They aren't paid at all. They're given "store (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jbou, m00finsan, Dirtandiron

                      credit".

                      I really don't know where your "Five year graduate degree" theory comes from.

                •  I age that they're absolutely not slaves, but (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jbou, m00finsan, Dirtandiron

                  they aren't that far from indenture.

                  •  really? (0+ / 0-)

                    they could go to Europe and get paid to play easily. They could not play the sport.

                    They willingly sign the paperwork, as do their parents.

                    It's not even remotely close to indenture.

                    If they want to get paid for their abilities, they have that option.

                    •  "They could quit and lose their entire investment" (0+ / 0-)

                      It's like talking to Republicans about Chinese sweat shops.

                      •  you use quotes (0+ / 0-)

                        around something i never said.

                        HS athletes have options. they, along with their parents, make a conscious decision to go to college and abide by NCAA bylaws.

                        •  you're yucky (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          JesseCW

                          I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

                          by jbou on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:52:10 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Now you're just making another of the Bosses (0+ / 0-)

                          arguments.

                          Workers are always told "you agreed to shitty conditions, what right do you think you have to change them now?"

                          Do you work in management?

                          •  nope, never have (0+ / 0-)

                            but I do firmly believe that comparing college athletic to slavery or indentured servitude is about as factually incorrect as can be.

                            People who make those claims either

                            1) don't know what slavery or indentured servitude are
                            2) don't understand how college athletics work

                            if the players want to unionize and demand cash payments instead of scholarships, or medical insurance for the rest of their lives, good for them. I'm not going to stop them. I'm also not going to be ignorant and assume it doesn't have consequences.

                    •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JesseCW
                      they could go to Europe and get paid to play easily
                      For soccer maybe. But do you think Europeans really care about American football? To them "football" means what we call soccer.

                      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

                      by Dirtandiron on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:25:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  i was referring to BBall (0+ / 0-)

                        with that statement.

                        many HS kids go to europe and play as 18 or 19 year olds. There is canadian football and other "american" football leagues around the world without age restrictions they could play in.

                        Students get paid better in the NCAA than they would abroad, and they get better medical care, so they stay here.

              •  Pretending that massively inflated tuition is (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                m00finsan, Dirtandiron

                "pay" is idiotic.

                That's "pay" only at the company store.

          •  Your right...I don't like jocks in general. (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Kristin in WA
            Hidden by:
            Red Tom Kidd

             Declaring that I shouldn't be calling myself a democrat, or that I'm a pseudo liberal and anti-union is macho bullying.

                ororis (below) gave an inteliigent argument and I agree with it.

             I have always been a pacifist, I abhor violence and equate football with cage fighting. While college football is path to an education, it becomes less and less so as the profit increases. Schools need to be accountable for unsafe practices such as pushing players too hard or putting profits over safety or of a students lack of education at completion. If you really cared about these kids you'd be calling them students, not workers.  The strategy of calling them workers is pretty transparent.
               You care about unions so passionately? There are millions of fast food workers in the U.S. that are desperate for your help.
               

            •  Wow. So if workers are involved in a (9+ / 0-)

              profession you aren't interested in, then the hell with them.  Not only that, but anyone who happens to be interested in it should also ignore them to focus on someone else you consider more deserving.

              I wouldn't say you shouldn't call yourself a Democrat or a pseudo liberal.  I'd call you a narrow minded, selfish, egotist .

              •  Name calling? (0+ / 0-)

                Too bad you don't like my opinion, but censorship is a marker of the truly narrow, small minded, selfish egotist, now, isn't it?
                 I thought I'd have to defend that thinking, but you don't want a debate,,,you want compliance with your thinking.
                LOL !!
                 I'm done with this thread
                 

            •  I don't understand the hide rate. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              canabisflower, unfangus

              This will be my first counter-rate.  I see nothing but disagreement.  Whereas the comment below contains actual insults.

              "You want to be a bit compulsive in your art or craft or whatever you do." Steve Martin

              by Kristin in WA on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 08:09:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think the hide rate was necessary. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cville townie, burlydee, JesseCW

                The response was harsh but understandable. Trashing an entire class of people and stating that they shouldn't be allowed basic economic rights is a pretty ugly thing to do.

                It's best to just ignore that sort of thing, but it's not just disagreement. It's saying because these people play a contact sport, then they should be "othered" and denied the right to organize for fair compensation.

                I stopped hide rating, personally. I don't have time for the drama.  

                You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

                by Eric Stratton on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 08:21:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Look over there! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dirtandiron

              There's nothing about supporting the right of all workers to organize that obligates someone to ignore some groups of workers.

              When they're on the field and at practice, they're workers.  The vast majority of those arguing that players right to organize shouldn't be respected are also arguing that they well compensated in the form of scholarships.

              There's no reasons for any of us to kid ourselves.  The overwhelming majority of them would not be playing if they weren't being compensated for their labor.

              What do you call a person paid in company script to do dangerous and demanding work?

              I use the word "worker".  

          •  Northwestern made about $245M... (5+ / 0-)

            ...over the last 10 years on their football program, according to NPR this AM.

            "Democrat" is a noun. "Democratic" is an adjective. "Republican" is an idiot. Illigitimi non carborundum. Regardless of Party.

            by TheOrchid on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 08:11:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW

              But what about their share of the Big Ten Conferences TV money? Where exactly does that money go? And is the $254 million before or after the coaches get their considerable paychecks?

              It's important to also consider the fact that, while other Big Ten schools such as Michigan and Ohio State make alot more than Northwestern, they need all the schools who participate in the league in order to fill their schedule.

              There is quite a bit of fuzzy math going on here, I suspect.

              You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

              by Eric Stratton on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 08:25:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Oh of course, there's no money in football. (10+ / 0-)

        How anyone can be so painfully naive is beyond me. Big time Division I college football is a fucking cash volcano. They are swimming in profits. They do use alot of fuzzy math to hide this fact. They are very effective con men. But the idea that so many people buy this is really amazing.

        So you're clear, no one is talking about the softball team. Athletes in those sports aren't making any money for anybody, and they should be happy with whatever scholarship they might be getting. If not, then they should move on.  And no one is going to be cutting paychecks for the boys playing at small Division III schools. The numbers you site only work when ALL of those unprofitable programs are figured in... and even then they're almost certainly omitting major revenue streams to give that massive fucking lie a semblance of truth.

        What we are discussing is football being played at major conference schools. Colleges in the Big 10, Pac 12, SEC, Big 12, ACC and a few independents such as Notre Dame. Those programs are raking in obscene amounts of money from football, and the players that make it possible for them to do so aren't being fairly compensated. This is a problem. That is the issue.

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:28:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is underpay. And the equivilent of less (5+ / 0-)

        than minimum wage for a job that takes a tremendous toll on the bodies of these young people - and often on their futures.

        This ruling doesn't require and won't mean the end of Basketball and Football (I love that these sports are so important, they actually get their very own capitalization!)  It simply means that the players have some rights - if they're injured, they'll entitled to some compensation; if an injury means their future playing is over, they won't be shit out of luck.  They might not have to work at their sport long hours whenever the coach wants them to, with absolutely no power or control and no compensation for it.

        This ruling doesn't say "schools can no longer make the astronomical monies they've previously made off these players efforts" or "coaches can no longer be paid the huge salaries".  It simply says the players are employees and have a few rights.  Just like Walmart, the schools will continue to make huge amounts of money while underpaying the athletes; it just won't be able to run roughshod over them quite as much.

        I would be interested, though, in an explanation of why you consider it fair and reasonable that basketball and football athletes have an obligation to earn money to pay for the sports of others?  Besides, of course, that it's what's been happening for so long that everyone feels entitled to be receiving the benefit from their efforts?

      •  Compare that supposedly free $100k education (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye Nut Schell, Dirtandiron

        to the $5 million going to the coach, athletic director, etc.  A more equitable and less corrupt system would do a much better job of supporting athletics as a whole.

      •  The problem with your thinking is (4+ / 0-)

        that you have schools like the University of Kentucky who admit basketball players that they know are going to leave after one year, and are just being recruited to play basketball and create revenue. They are not being recruited as student athletes.

        I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

        by jhecht on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 07:29:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  College athletics is a plantation system. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron

        Athletes work long hour little compensation & are legally bonded to their employer (let's call it what it is). If not slavery, then it's definitely a form of indentured servitude. In this system every party but the players who do the toil get rich.

      •  If your scholarship (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron

        and education is based on performance then it is a job. Whether they pay you in semesters or bit coins, they are clearly giving you compensation for labor, IMO.

        And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

        by high uintas on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:13:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My granddaughter is a student-athlete at a US (28+ / 0-)

      College. She has a backbreaking schedule, the whole team does. I'm all for unions. My grandson was working at a non-union job where they exploited him until he was injured. Now he is on workman's compensation at a very young age. I'm all for unions for him too.

      To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:37:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal

      remove the scholarships and instead offer kids who play football 30k a year in wages?

      This might be an interesting read for everyone.

      To summarize: minor league ball pays shit.

      •  Remove the athletic scholarships... (0+ / 0-)

        and put all that money and more into needs-based scholarships.  All students have to meet the same minimum academic standards and the process for awarding scholarships is completely blind as to whether the applicant is an athlete or not.  You'll still have thousands of students who will want to play football, basketball and non-revenue sports.  Financially disadvantaged students will have greater opportunities for a college education even if they aren't athletes.  Students won't lose scholarships if their athletic performance isn't what the coaches expected.  If professional sports believe the system isn't bringing in some of the top prospects they can go ahead and fund their own developmental leagues.  

  •  T & R for discussion, but .... (17+ / 0-)
    Yet, in entering the comment section on this topic - I was appalled to find not just the usual smattering of anti-union comments, but a full blown stream criticizing the ruling and bemoaning that this will either bankrupt college sports (or, my favorite, end scholarships for academic programs as well!!) or creates a sense of entitlement for players who are already given "so much" in the form of scholarships and other perks of being an athlete.
    Stating the unintended consequences of unionizing college athletes is not bemoaning and being anti-union!

    Should this decision to let Northwestern athletes unionize consider the following:

    1) As the school would have to recognize the student as an EMPLOYEE: Better start taxing the tuition and benefits (as they are an employee, for a 4 year degree you just dumped a HUGE tax bill on the them)

    2) As they would be an employee, and NOT a student athlete, time to cut women's sports, after all Title IX refers to STUDENT ATHLETES (By the way, do you care that many women who get athletic scholarships would no longer get them under this?  That is 85 womens scholarships per FB team 1:1 ratio of women/men spots

    3) Many Olympic sports (non-revenue) are propped up by the revenue sports. Many schools would be cutting more of these (There goes more scholarships to both men and women)

    4) Some schools may just DROP all the sports period versus getting caught up in a bidding war for the top recruits. (There goes even more scholarships for kids)

    So a small percentage of athletes will make out a LOT better (about 1%), many more 99% will end up worse for this!

    Let that sink in.

    Rebuttal: But it doesn't HAVE to be this way..Uh, look at the corporate greed that has no morals or values, do you really trust the big money schools to all of a sudden to start acting in a moral way?! I don't

    Now I am all for unions, but the problem here is a broken system.  The ideal situation of a union for the players that doesn't hurt others would be my first choice, but it is NOT realistic.  

    As such I prefer not to see MOST (non revenue sports, womens sports) athletes get a worse deal so that the few (FB, Mens BB) get all the benefits. Yes those benefits are scraps compared to what the colleges take in, and I would love to see that dished out more fairly. BUT, I am unwilling to take the scraps from MOST the athletes leaving them with nothing!

    And that does NOT make me anti-union!

         

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 04:14:51 PM PDT

    •  Lacross and swimming (33+ / 0-)

      just don't mix with what are in practice farm teams for pro spots corporations. The money sports are already functioning in that environment. Any effort to pretend that all college athletic programs are just about healthy young people learning the value of good sportmanship is utter horseshit.

      There are many things about that need revision. This would be a good time to start.

    •  What Does National and International Athletics (26+ / 0-)

      have to do with college and university education?

      Why should men's or women's football or basketball or any sport have any more support than the rowing team, ski club, or, to pick one of the highest profile professional national sports that doesn't depend much on college, the baseball team?

      Most schools have a newspaper, many have radio or tv stations students can staff as part of journalism education. So I can see a college of athletics with competition serving a comparable function, but I don't recall anyone demanding that college broadcast be supported and sponsored so much as to be competitive for periods through the year with national broadcast and papers of record.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 04:29:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All sports should be equal but never will be (6+ / 0-)
        Why should men's or women's football or basketball or any sport have any more support than the rowing team, ski club, or, to pick one of the highest profile professional national sports that doesn't depend much on college, the baseball team?
        The support they get is directly related to the revenue the sport brings in. That fact isn't gonna change, and that fact makes it so that only 2-3 sports (FB, Mens BB, different schools may have a 3rd one, like Uconn has womens BB) bring in positive cash flow and SUPPORT the other sports that lose money (Olympic/non-revenue sports)
        What Does National and International Athletics have to do with college and university education?
        Olympic sports is the term used by colleges for the sports that don't bring in money (but are Olympic events...swimming, diving, wrestling, etc.) that they provide partial and full scholarships for those athletes.

        Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

        by Mannie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 04:38:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Many of those Olympic sports (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6412093, JesseCW, caul, elfling, JVolvo

          are fully or almost fully supported by clubs, alumni and corporate donations.  I am not sure that any University fully funds some of those smaller sports.  I would be surprised if they are.  Temple's men's gymnastic team is being cut despite the fact that they are almost fully funded by private money.

          Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

          by tobendaro on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:39:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Few will benefit at the cost of many (4+ / 0-)

      Meanwhile the same people making millions will still make millions. No loss to them, big loss to small school athletes and any sports players not in the Big Three.

      http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

      by DAISHI on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 04:48:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you've brought some good points (21+ / 0-)

      but I also think that it would be okay if colleges weren't in the sports business.

      The way that those athletic scholarships restrict kids from getting cash and other expenses covered is a big problem.

      Title IX is a question but I'm not entirely convinced it's a lost cause. Graduate students can unionize, and yet they are still students and they also are still within Title IX (though not generally NCAA).

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 04:57:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would prefer (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buddabelly, aitchdee, Fabienne

        that everyone would get a free education (or scholarship) at the college level

        but since we don't, I do support the granting of any scholarship for just about any reason so that at least some kids can get an education and not be saddled in student loan debt hell (like me)

        Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

        by Mannie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:25:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The NCAA restrictions are kind of fierce (17+ / 0-)

          For example, if you get an academic scholarship, you can also still get a part time job if you want. NCAA doesn't allow that, and it doesn't allow you to get cash to cover the additional cost of attendance that the school's financial aid office reports.

          You can also get your scholarship yanked if you are hurt and unable to play... and it only goes 4 years best case. If you need another year to finish, oh well. If your body is broken and you need health care, oh well.

          NCAA full ride scholarships are pretty rare. You can combine them with other forms of financial aid. If you are a high need student, you're probably better off with need-based aid rather than a NCAA scholarship, given the restrictions it comes with.

          Here is some background you might find interesting:

          http://www.al.com/...

          The suit says that Alston, who played at West Virginia from 2009 until 2012, had to take out a $5,500 loan to cover the difference between his grant-in-aid and the actual costs of attendance. Alston signed a free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints after college in 2013 and was released.

          The difference in 2010-11 between a football team's scholarship value and its university's actual cost of attendance ranged from $80,920 to more than $520,795, according to the suit. Some coaches' bonuses alone surpassed those shortfalls.

          Also:
          http://www.cbsnews.com/...
          6. Playing high-level college sports will be a full-time job. Division I athletes may as well be called full-time employees of their schools because of the long hours they work. According to a NCAA survey last year, playing football required 43.3 hours per week; college baseball, 42.1 hours; men's basketball, 39.2 hours; and women's basketball, 37.6 hours. Because of the huge time commitment, as well as time away from campus, Division I athletes will often not be able to major in rigorous disciplines, such as the sciences and engineering.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:10:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Rather, colleges shouldn't be in the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Red Tom Kidd, high uintas

        minor leagues/farm teams for the pros business.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath; μολὼν λαβέ - att. Leonidas I

        by Robobagpiper on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:36:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Rebuttal: But it doesn't HAVE to be this way. . . (8+ / 0-)

      You said:

      Rebuttal: But it doesn't HAVE to be this way..Uh, look at the corporate greed that has no morals or values, do you really trust the big money schools to all of a sudden to start acting in a moral way?! I don't
      Two things to consider: 1st, will the NCAA actually give up all of the billions they are making now instead of 80% (or whatever) of what they making now?

      2nd, what if the union becomes the Northwestern Athlete's union, not just the Northwestern football players association?

      It is early stages but this could be a step in the right direction.

      •  The problem with this is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eagleray

        NCAA versus B1G versus Northwestern

        As this ruling can only apply to PRIVATE schools, many public ones won't be hit by this.

        As such Northwestern can tank its sports to weaken/get rid of the union and ride the cash from the B1G (Big Ten) as its top earners are public schools like Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, etc.

        And to keep the crappy model going, the B1G would let A& SUPPORT Northwestern tanking and staying in the conference just to defeat a union before it gets going strong (companies have picked up their ball and gone home in a huff over less money)

        The public/versus private thing as it relates to the NLRB ruling is another issue I didn't even address (argh!)

        Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

        by Mannie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:11:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Two points (19+ / 0-)

      What is to stop the other sports from organizing and banding together? You know, like unionism is supposed to do?

      We should stop viewing ourselves as consumers and start looking at things as workers.

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - Steinbeck

      by gjohnsit on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:22:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The other sports lose tons (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miggles

        of money. They are largely financed by the money that comes in from basketball and football. Even a sport like women's basketball doesn't have more than maybe a dozen teams in the country that are self-supporting. Sports like crew or fencing generate almost no revenue.

        If student atheletes struck these small sports, schools would shut down these programs just as fast as Tittle IX would alloe them.

        I do think it would be worthwhile to consider eliminating all college sports beyond the club level. The University of Chicago dropped football back in the thirties, when they were a top college team, and they're still going strong.

        Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

        by OIL GUY on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:18:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Those who believe in exploiting workers (8+ / 0-)

      and denying them any collective defense have no business - at all - trying to call themselves Democrats.

      When they do, they drive voters away from us and hurt our Party.

      •  It should always be the primary issue. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, Red Tom Kidd

        Being a proud neo-liberal sellout, I disagree with alot of stuff I read here. But I believe in the right of workers to fight back against bad employers, like Walmart and McDonalds and the NCAA.

        I realize that alot of folks here aren't big fans of the Sports Industrial Complex, but that's a side issue. The main issue is that this business exists, it is very lucrative, and the workers who make it possible for this business to exist are getting a lousy deal.

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:46:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No. While you don't call yourself anti-union, you (4+ / 0-)

      are offering up long and often used anti-union excuses - the primary one being "that won't work".

      Addressing your first point: graduate students are both students and university employees already (if they are TA's or RA's).  So it's really not that much of stretch to extend the concept to student athletes.  There is nothing administratively or legally difficult about defining that.  In fact, some universities even have bona fide unions for graduate students.

      Furthermore, if schools can't figure out how to provide decent benefits to and compete for unionized student athletes, then they shouldn't be in the intercollegiate athletics business in the first place.  That's the same excuse the restaurant owners give for offering low pay and zero benefits to their employees.  

      Finally, it wouldn't be the end of the world if a university got out of sports and focused more on their fundamental mission: education and research.

  •  I have to agree. (43+ / 0-)

    Considering the vital role that unions have played and continue to play in electing Democrats and advancing a lot of the causes we profess to care about, I've been surprised at the relative lack of interest in union related topics and the frequent appearance of anti-union talking points in comment threads.  Unions in this country have made a lot of mistakes - the long-ago decision not to form a labor party foremost among them - but have still been the best friend of ordinary workers and of the working class in general.  Virtually everyone here who grew up in the US has been exposed to a lifetime of anti-union propaganda, so I suppose I ought not be so surprised.

    "Wouldn't you rather vote for what you want and not get it than vote for what you don't want - and get it?" Eugene Debs. "Le courage, c'est de chercher la verité et de la dire" Jean Jaures

    by Chico David RN on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 04:20:25 PM PDT

  •  It should bankrupt and end scholarships. (26+ / 0-)

    That's not a bug, it's a feature. Universities shouldn't be running their athletics deptartments as for-profit businesses. Kids shouldn't be getting scholarships to play games and chase balls around. Universities are for learning, not playing mindless games.

    I think you misunderstood the comments. The hope is that this leads to the formation of NBA and NFL minor leagues where pro athletes can get paid without corrupting the universities.

    •  Spoken like a true (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mkor7, paz3, Dirtandiron

      non athlete.

      Jealous much?  I would bet most of those kids who like to chase balls and play mindless games could run intellectual circles around you.

      Another one who believes in the dumb jock myth.

      •  Read my comment (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, tardis10, caul, Chinton, elfling, m00finsan

        about division III athletics.

        I didn't play hoops at MIT; I managed the team (I'm slow and can't jump, as they say).  But I assure you that basketball and other sports are taken quite seriously at MIT -- for participation, not for revenue.

        •  Never said non scholarship schools (0+ / 0-)

          don't take athletics seriously.  

          But there seems to be the assumption that scholarship athletes don't take their education seriously...which is, at minimum, unproven.

          I know several former D1 athletes who are now physicians, lawyers, hospital administrators, and other professionals.  They certainly took their education seriously.

          .  

          •  That's not the assumption (0+ / 0-)

            I suspect that basketball players at Duke, for example, do take their education seriously.  Mike Krzyzewski, for example, does have a strong sense of ethics, and Duke in general is a first class school.  But that's not the issue: it's about money and sports.

      •  Rocks for jocks is no myth (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, Catesby, caul, RamblinDave, m00finsan

        It was no myth that the classes taken by 95% of the big scholarship athletes were a complete joke. It was no myth that the students in the engineering dorm studied all day while those in the jock dorm drank and partied all day.

        Out of all the big athletes, there was one, ONE!, in engineering.  The rest were in basket weaving.  At best, learning how to defraud investors in "business".

        Now I knew students who could think, and who also did sports for fun. But none of them were on scholarship. They weren't being paid to chase balls. They were paying to learn.

        •  Condescend much? (4+ / 0-)

          You, sir, are a [REDACTED].

          Signed,
          A scholar and an athlete.

          Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

          by earicicle on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:13:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Were you on scholarship? (0+ / 0-)

            Were you being paid to learn, or play games?  We're you a scholar who did athletics for fun, or an athlete who took joke classes?

            Athletes being allowed to unionize says it all. They're not students, they're paid entertainers who as a perk get to take some classes. But winning games, not learning, is their full time job.

            But if you paid tuition and did sports for fun, not profit, then I'm not talking about you.

            •  you do know that the (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              earicicle, Dirtandiron

              #1 career for scholarship athletes is teaching.

              Just so you know....

            •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dirtandiron
              Athletes being allowed to unionize says it all. They're not students, they're paid entertainers who as a perk get to take some classes. But winning games, not learning, is their full time job.
              Ironically, here are some recent facts about Northwestern U in Evanston, the university where athletes just won the right to unionize via that NLRB ruling:  
              Stats of the Typical National College Scouting Association (NCSA) Athlete matched with the Northwestern University Football Program

              GPA:    3.89
              ACT Score:    23
              SAT Score:    1200 out of 1600
              Star Rating    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (5 out of 6)
              Height:  6' 1''
              Weight:  226.25 lbs.

               Paid entertainers? Right...

              You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

              by paz3 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:06:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  95% of statistics are pulled (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          earicicle, Dirtandiron

          out of your ass.

          Anecdotes / data.

          And for the record, most scholarship athletes bust their asses off for their chosen vocation. Isn't that what college is about? Why is sports less valid a path than music, dance, art, etc.?

          •  Sports, music, dance & art are all more valid (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dirtandiron

            vocations than 'cheetos-eating, basement-dwelling, statistics-pulling-out-of-sundry-orifices blogger.' According to the study I just made up, a whopping 107% more valid in the greater Chicago area. Clear and convincing evidence!

            Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

            by earicicle on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 09:01:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You can do that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago, caul

        without going to University.

      •  LOL. This has to be the funniest comment (0+ / 0-)

        yet - wish it would get to top comments.

        Anyone who isn't gung ho about college athletics MUST be a wannabe jock who's desperately jealous of the REAL jock.  

        •  No... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron

          I just hate the condescending attitude about college athletes...or let's face it, athletes in general.

          •  You're getting funnier by the minute. Because (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lost and Found

            there are SO many people in this country who look down on athletes.  

          •  So which is it? Do people look down on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lost and Found

            athletes or are they jealous of them?  You seem to be angry about both at the same time.

            •  both.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dirtandiron

              Lot's of people have condescending attitudes about different groups.  Doesn't make it right.

              You seem to have a problem with athletes as well.  Bad experience back in high school?

              •  Really? You're really reverting again to (0+ / 0-)

                your fallback line?

                No, I have no problem with athletes.  And no, I never had a bad experience with any athletes in high school - except maybe the one I had a crush on all through high school and ended up dating for a number of years long after high school.  I had a problem with him because I was madly in love with him but terrified of making a commitment.  That would be the athlete that was also at the top of our class and who became a very successful attorney.  But I'm sure I have a condescending attitude toward all athletes as a result.  Or am I jealous of them?  Damn, it's confusing.

                Do you have any idea how stupid your assumptions and attempted insults make you seem?

                Since it seems you have some difficulty grasping things, let me explain to you what my post meant.  It did not attempt to justify in any way people having condescending attitudes about different groups.  In fact, there's only one group being discussed here, so it has nothing to do with different groups.  My comment pointed out the amazing inconsistency in your position.  You're whining about people having two directly opposite opinions about the same group of people.  You first accuse someone of being jealous and then immediately accuse that person of being condescending.  And you don't seem able to grasp the inherent conflict between those two things.

                But never mind.  You're probably an athlete and so can't grasp such simple concepts.  He he.

                •  Wow, you spent a lot of time on that (0+ / 0-)

                  You really are angry.  Don't get your blood pressure any higher ok?  Let's just end this now...

                  Good day!

                  •  You poor schmuck. I wonder what it's (0+ / 0-)

                    like living your life making entirely inaccurate assumptions about other people.  Or should I say trying to make it look like you're making inaccurate assumptions in order to try and salvage some small smidgen of your ego as you back quickly out the door with egg on your face?

      •  I share their views (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lost and Found

        And I have substantial athletic experience.

    •  Anything that gets more kids into college (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie

      is fine with me.

      The athletic programs bring in a lot of money that goes to the rest of the university and more than pays for the scholarships provided, so it's not as if other students would get those scholarships. And the more kids in college the better, as far as I'm concerned.

      The problem is that the athletes there are allowed to skate on schoolwork because of the revenue they bring in, not that they're there in the first place.

      "No children have ever meddled with the Republican Party and lived to tell about it." - Sideshow Bob

      by ThinkerT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:51:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bigoted nonsense. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burlydee, earicicle, Dirtandiron

      What's the difference between an athlete getting a scholarship to do what he loves versus a musician? Or a dancer? Or an actor? Or a fiction writer? Are you also suggesting we abolish all scholarships for anything that isn't science/math? Welcome to being a Republican!

      I agree that college athletics has run amok in terms of being a money-making industry. But bashing student athletes as you're doing and dismissing their chosen career aspirations as "mindless games" is both totally ignorant and incredibly short-sighted.

      Many athletes aspire to make careers out of their sports. In that sense, the sport becomes a vocation just like any other. That you may not be fan of the vocation is irrelevant. I've no interest in mechanical engineering, but I wouldn't dismiss it as "people tinkering with toys."

      •  Athletes learn to play a stupid game. Period. (0+ / 0-)

        A musician has to learn to play her instrument, teach her instrument, understand the context in which the music she plays was composed, has to write about it, and has to practice in a way that requires self-discipline most athletes simply cannot muster.

        No football player does anything comparable.

        •  You really have no idea what you're talking about. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burlydee, earicicle, Dirtandiron

          None. Athletes have to learn a shitload of stuff in classroom settings to be good at what they do. Memorizing plays, learning to read opposing plays, learning formations, physically learning skills that are as difficult as any dancer. They also have to learn context of plays, learn to teach others (since positions require a lot of inter-player coaching). And yes, they also require a lot of self-discipline.

          I say this as a music major, so I know how hard I worked. And I know athletes work just as hard usually. In fact, given the combination of athletic AND academic schedules, I bet most athletes put in a heck of a lot more time than I did.

          In short, stop speaking of things about which you are woefully ignorant.

        •  Athletes learn to play a stupid game. Period. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron

          Well, excuuuuse me...

          I'm not anything other than a (former) amateur athlete, but I'm smart enough to identify some serious snobbery, some 'musicians-are-holier-than-athletes' sentiment behind your comment.

          Just what we need: more division and separation of people by their gifts and skills...

          You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

          by paz3 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:23:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You're way off base here... (0+ / 0-)

          I think you'd agree that, just as you have a specific "part to play" in any given musical performance, so too does a football player have a "part to play" on the field. Let's compare the two:

          MUSICIAN: For each piece, you usually have one part to play. You may, on occasion, play multiple instruments in a single piece (especially if you're a percussionist), and you may enjoy an occasional ad libitum passage or solo, but (in most cases) you're playing the same thing each time the piece is performed.

          FOOTBALL: My son's HS football playbook uses 20 basic sets (10 offense, 10 defense), each of which has at least 5 variations; the quarterback or defensive captain can switch among any of those variations on any given play. So, that's 100 "parts" for him to learn, right? Wrong. He plays multiple positions (tackle/nose guard/end on defense, guard/tackle/end on offense), which means that he has to learn three different parts for each of those 100 possible combinations of play and variation. So, on any given play he has to be ready to play one of 150 different parts, depending on which position he is playing at the time, whether he's playing offense or defense, and whether the quarterback or defense captain changes the call at the last minute. If he's playing defense, he also has to "sight-read" the opponent and be prepared to abandon his defined role ("ad libitum") in reaction to what the opponent does.

          Now, my son also happens to be a musician; he's a tenor who not only performs in his high school choir and theatre programs, but has also been an All-State choral honoree who is receiving some attention from collegiate music programs. He'll tell you--in a heartbeat--that the mental preparation required by football is easily the equal of anything expected of him in his choir or theatre work.

          If you don't think that athletic performance requires a mental and physical discipline similar to that of a musician...you don't have a clue.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 09:53:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Small Point / Correction (0+ / 0-)
      Universities shouldn't be running their athletics departments as for-profit businesses.
      Small but maybe important point on this.

      Universities, private or public, are non-profits. For-profits can (and do) raise prices of products, or sell more products, with no limit on cash received, or pay to owners (if private), or profits to stockholders.

      Universities, private or public, as non-profits cannot pay staff (athletic directors, coaching staff) outside of negotiated contracts, and there are no owners or stockholders that can siphon cash away from profits.

      A college athletic director (AD) is essentially the head professor in charge of the athletic department, and the coaches are roughly equivalent to professors, although a head coach at a big football or men's (and some women's) basketball school will earn more than the AD.

      You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

      by paz3 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:43:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For the record... (0+ / 0-)

      I have a daughter who:

      * graduated HS in the top 10% of her class,
      * scored in the 95th percentile on her college boards,
      * was recruited by multiple colleges and universities,
      * is now a scholarship athlete, and
      * made the Dean's List her first semester while her sport was in season.

      Please refrain from the gratuitous/veiled insults.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 07:55:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're diminishing the obvious differences here (5+ / 0-)

    in a way that's kind of ridiculous. You can't ignore that the fundamental question here involves the transition from the historic construct of amateur athletics to the almost absurd money circus that we have today. If it weren't for the money involved now, this unionizing effort by Northwestern wouldn't have ever even have been a stray thought. The essential "union" issues here are unique in every possible way.

    I don't think there's near enough labor and union focus by DKos or by Democrats generally, but to conflate this football story with some anti-unionism in generally is too facile by half.

    •  Unique in every possible way? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, gustynpip, Red Tom Kidd, Dirtandiron

      One of the big concerns is medical care for injuries sustained while earning others money.  Hardly a concern unique to college athletes.

      •  Unique for the big student athletes only (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chrississippi

        Because only basketball and football make money for the schools.  

        Here's a thought experiment.  Three students blow out their ACL.  All three need the same surgery, all three have the same medical bills and care requirements.

        Student #1 was out jogging for fun.

        Student #2 was on the college track team, which doesn't earn money for others.

        Student #3 was on the football team, which does earn lots of money.

        Is the university equally responsible for all three students?  Why or why not?

  •  Excellent post. College sports are (21+ / 0-)

    Big Business.  Agree with you about unions.  We need them to grow.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:10:22 PM PDT

  •  Wish I had time to diary it. (14+ / 0-)

    Between the legal and sports aspects, it's my turf. But I've got seven trials in the next 2 1/2 weeks, so ... no Hobby Lobby analysis, either. Sorry.

  •  I'm very pro-union...A big reason (19+ / 0-)

    for the decline of the middle class has been unions lost so much power.

    I consider unions a way to protect workers from having their jobs sent overseas and to protect workers from non living wages..

    I didn't realize there was a significant number of anti union people here.

  •  israelfox87, Thank you for your work here. (17+ / 0-)

    I still say Support College Athletes Players Association (CAPA).  I am glad that I am not alone in my happiness that NLRB ruled as it did today.

    Shame on Northwestern University for refusing to allow this ruling to stand unopposed.

    Shame on those characters who put up anti-union and anti-collective bargaining sentiment or just plain drivel.

    We yesterday celebrated the 103rd anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that happened because the "employees" were denied collective bargaining rights, thereby having no power to change the conditions that killed them. Yesterday's theme was "We Are All Workers, in recognition of the struggle of workers everywhere to find safety & dignity." All athletes are workers. period.

    The college athletes also deserve collective bargaining rights and the dignity to which each human person is entitled simply because s/he is a human person. It is said that "A just society can become a reality only when it is based on the respect of the transcendent dignity of the human person." In this context, "The person represents the ultimate end of society, by which it is ordered to the person: 'Hence, the social order and its development must invariably work to the benefit of the human person, since the order of things is to be subordinate to the order of persons, and not the other way around'."

    It is also clearly stated about "The importance of unions" that "Such organizations, while pursuing their specific purpose with regard to the common good, are a positive influence for social order and solidarity, and are therefore an indispensable element of social life. "

    Word.

    .

  •  Like others I grew up in a union household (6+ / 0-)

    and my father's union was a consistently positive force as many but not all unions are.

    I see unions as vital and I think some unions are fantastic advocates for their members, but not all are.

    Some unions have, in my view, a deservedly poor opinion because they go too far in protecting the rights of members against the rights of the people that use the services of the people in those unions.

    I don't see why because I strongly believe in organized labor I need to uncritically approve any organization of labor, most of them are great some of them not so much.

    I think some on DKos are very diffident about expressing any kind of nuanced view as one tends to then get pushback from both sides, but thats my 10 cents.

    Remember to kick it over.

    by sprogga on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:29:56 PM PDT

    •  Been there..... (0+ / 0-)

      Got the t shirt. Good comment, my feelings exactly on unions.  

      Dedicated to recapturing the American Dream by changing the framework of the debate to focus on: Growth, Efficiency, Community, Sustainability and Economic Fairness. Improve constantly and drive out fear - Dr. W. Edwards Deming

      by Paradigm Change on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:34:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome to the Big Tent -- new home to (16+ / 0-)

    former "centrist" Republicans, neoliberals and other assorted flotsam from the pragmatic right.

    Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

    by The Dead Man on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:43:45 PM PDT

  •  I'm pro-union, but I don't like this (11+ / 1-)

    I'm a senior at a top 100 public university, with a nationally famous football program (Oregon). I, and many others I know, have had to work multiple jobs, take out loans, lean on grants, or live quite meagerly to get by. I even have friends who have utilized the campus food bank. Meanwhile, we have all watched as huge amounts of donated money has gone to our sports programs (new basketball arena, new football training facility, new student-athlete academic support facilities, etc). Athletics are already over-emphasized at our school.

    This over-emphasis, and deep desire to have nationally competitive sports programs, has lead to increased recruiting of high school athletes, giving more scholarship money and full rides than ever before, especially in the football/basketball programs. Not only do these students get, essentially, a full-ride to school (which includes the degree, should they complete their program), but they get preferential treatment from administration. I can't tell you the number of times I have heard rumblings of student athletes receiving grade changes and unprecedented student tutoring in order for them to stay on the team and compete. Again, this is mostly in football/basketball (our baseball team isn't good yet).

    While I don't want to demonize all of the student athletes, since not all of them receive benefits like this, I have gotten the vibe that this is more common than folks think. And, the fact of the matter is, at many of these schools the focus is placed more squarely on sports, not academics. The fact that they are now allowed to unionize, and seek payment for their services, is just another slap in the face to the student body who had to pay their way because they didn't play a sport. I realize that these kids bring massive surplus value to the school, but they also ALREADY receive tangible benefits. I would support expansion of medical benefits to athletes, after all they ARE at risk of injury and should be thusly protected. But past that, I cannot in good conscience support student athletes who already receive so much from my school.

    If, instead, this had been a decision to expand the unionization power of the GTFF and associate professors unions (who actually TEACH academics and get paid jack shit), I would be right up there celebrating with you. But instead this is just another example of Americans valuing their sports over their academics.

    •  How about this instead? (34+ / 0-)

      Fuck the NBA and the NFL that both use colleges as their minor league system -- at no cost to either league. That is what is really going on here.

      Make the NBA and the NFL develop legit minor league systems and let them pay the players,

      "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

      by Bob Johnson on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:42:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would not be opposed to this. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemInSeattle, cville townie

        This is a potential avenue that I could support, I prefer the MLB method of development of athletes anyways, since they develop high schoolers in such a way that attempts to mitigate overuse (which is a huge problem in college sports).

        I take issue with the fact that potentially these athletes will be essentially 'double dipping' if you will. They already get full rides, and they're going to get paid too? Fuck that.

      •  Exactly right. (0+ / 0-)

        Baseball has a proper minor league system, as do soccer leagues overseas (and they even have an academy system on for youth prospects on top of that).

        The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

        by cybrestrike on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:26:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Its an interesting argument (8+ / 0-)

      Thank you for bringing it to the diary, I think it adds to the conversation. In most other countries, formalized sport leagues are divorced from universities and are played in this sort of amateur way in connection to local clubs as a true extra-curricular.

      Now that being said, of course the American university system is so much bigger than in other nations (the EU countries, Australia etc. don't hold a candle to the breadth and diversity of available colleges and universities) but there is a model to allow, as Bob suggests, to disconnect colleges from athletics while still having minor leagues building to the professional ranks.

    •  PS (10+ / 0-)

      I will also point to recent victories by Graduate Students at NYU, the continued struggle by faculty at University of Illinois-Chicago to stand up for untenured colleagues, and the increased rate of adjunct unions as important steps in pushing back on corporate university policies.

    •  If you don't think *some* workers have a right (7+ / 0-)

      to organize to protect their own interest, you're not pro-union.

      It's like saying you're pro-choice, but you think some women should be allowed to control their own reproductive system.

      These are workers creating value.

      That - and that alone - gives the right to organize for better compensation and conditions.

      All you have to ask yourself is "which side are you on?"

      •  I think you're missing my point here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago, dawgflyer13

        I am absolutely on the side of workers, and frankly I take offense to your comparison to the pro-choice fight. They may be workers who are creating value, but they are ALREADY COMPENSATED TO THE TUNE OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS A YEAR. These athletes get free room and board, tuition, meals, etc. all of which total large amounts of $$$. I take offense to the idea of 'double dipping' if you will.

        I have no problem with their rights to unionize.

        I DO have a problem with the fact that these kids get full rides and preferential treatment, and now you want to PAY THEM too? No, it's absurd that we value these athletes so much that we're literally willing to throw EVEN MORE MONEY AT THEM.

        If they unionize and have the ability to earn wages, then they can get rid of all football/basketball academic scholarships. In my eyes, they should not be allowed to have both.

        •  First, I think you take offense much too easily. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Red Tom Kidd, burlydee

          If you're going to be offended by another's thought process, you're going to spend a lot of your time offended.

          What you seem to be missing here is those people who you feel are being so much better than you?  They're not.  You're seeing this from your perspective and know virtually nothing about their actual experience.  You don't know the long hours they put in nor the limitations placed on them nor the long term damage that's being done to their bodies.  You're not thinking of the damage being done by their not getting a decent education, so when their bodies are injured and they're unable to go on to play professional sports, they'll end up spending their lives working at Walmart.

          You think these players wouldn't rather throw out their scholarships and just get paid straight?  Of course that's what they'd prefer.  Many of them aren't there to get an education; they're there to prove themselves so they can get into professional sports.  It's a little league unpaid job.

          It's not all about money.  It's about the right to be compensated if they're injured and the right to have some dignity and control over their lives.  

          I find it sad that you feel yourself pitted against them, that you're so determined that no one else should have it better than you.  I hope that changes over time.

          •  Excuse me (0+ / 0-)

            I do not find myself "pitted against" them. The idea that "no one" should have it BETTER than me?

            Slow down there.

            I am well aware of what these athletes endure; I have met several at Oregon, and their training routines are legendary, thorough, and exhausting. I am well aware of the fact that they can get injured. Which is why (even in my original post!) I granted that these kids should be granted medical benefits!

            But to say that my peers and I have it better than these kids is, to put it mildly, hilariously wrong.

            Who goes into 200k of debt with out of state tuition, the athletes, or the chemistry major from Redding?

            Who has actually felt the sting of increased tuition (and tuition has raised at my school every quarter I have been there)? It's the folks who have to pay their way.

            Who has it better, the athletes who never show up to class once, have others put in the effort for them so they can pass the class and compete? Or the kids who actually have to go to every class, every day, every term, because those grades are their lifeline?

            Not all student athletes are like this, but holy hell, I can personally say that I have seen the tangible benefits that these athletes already get.

            Now, Bob Johnson mentioned making the NBA/NFL step up to the plate, since NCAA is essentially an unsubsidized minor league system.

            So let me offer a compromise here.

            NBA/NFL are both highly profitable. Why not pay student athletes out of the coffers of NBA/NFL profit/revenue sharing? After all, these are the organizations that wish to develop the talent, they should be the ones paying top dollar.

        •  My problem with this is that they're KIDS (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JVolvo, burlydee, m00finsan, Dirtandiron

          You're expecting 18, 19-year-olds to understand what they have to gain/lose in this proposition.

          And if you're a big-time college basketball star and you sign an autograph and sell it for $100 the NCAA can come down on you like a bag of bricks because, as far as they're concerned, it's THEIR MONEY and it's being stolen from them.

          But if you injure yourself during a game they can say "too bad, so sad, see ya."

          How is that not treating someone like an employee you can shaft whenever, however you want to?

          Do you really think college coaches are saying "Hey, star quarterback, you're flunking a course. You're benched till that grade comes up."

          If this was about STUDENT athletes not athletes who in some way shape or form somewhat resemble something that might be considered a student... it would be a different story. But when UNC sells CORPORATE BOXES to their basketball games and you're a LUCKY student if you actually get to see your home team play live on your college campus, it's not about education, or even the college community. It's about the $$$$. If the money is being made BECAUSE of the athletes with no guarantee of good education or insurance against loss of ability to play, then the athletes should get a share of the millions (millions upon millions) as compensation.

          •  This is where we diverge (0+ / 0-)

            (and we can do so respectfully!) They ARE student athletes. While yes, they do spend a lot of time as athletes, they also are able to get an entire degree done (depending if they go pro or not). And they get it done for free.

            So, what are they?

            If they're employees of the school, then they should receive a salary, medical benefits, a (20%?) discount on their tuition bill.

            But not full ride scholarships.

            So say with this revenue sharing idea that I mentioned above, NFL/NBA prospects in college receive like $150,000? (Rookies in NFL receive 375,000). After taxes (so lets say like 100k left over). Oregon asks for 30,000 out of state tuition -20% is 24,000 total.

            So $76k after taxes and tuition, another 10-12k for a place to live. Lets say another 5k for food (and lets face it, booze and recreational drugs).

            So about ~60k after the fact. Pretty good, dontcha think? Plus medical benefits? I'd love that.

            •  Quality education is not guaranteed (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              burlydee, m00finsan, Dirtandiron

              Coaches are not required to ensure that grades are at least AS important as playing. For athletes playing a big-money at colleges/universities, playing is far too often prioritized over education. There are courses designed to allow athletes to do the bare minimum. That may fit the letter of the "student athlete" definition, but certainly not the spirit.

              These are money-making bodies, and like any corporate entity, pure capitalism runs amok. In this case, it's on the backs of kids.

              How many kids make it to the pros? How many graduate? If they do graduate, what kinds of degrees are they actually earning? And how much money is made overall?

              It's a vastly unequal system that needs redress.

    •  The money doesn't go to the athletes themselves, (8+ / 0-)

      though.  And if they sustain serious injuries (Not uncommon, even if the injuries aren't immediately debilitating), they often have no guarantee of medical care, or in extreme cases, workmen's comp.

      I'm pretty anti-major-college-sports myself (And anti-pro-sports as well), but I do care about the plight of athletes - both when they're injured on the job, and more generally, when the lion's share of profits goes elsewhere, be it to universities or team owners.

      •  This is why near the end of my post I offer that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Flying Goat

        I agree completely that medical comp should be the very first thing offered to these kids, after all, they really are putting their bodies on the line, and should receive proper medical benefits. I balk at putting even more money in the pockets of athletes.

    •  I would like to take issue with this HR (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo, bootleg
      •  Since Redd Tom Kidd hasn't posted a comment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ororis

        giving his/her rationale, consider it bullshit and don't sweat it   :o)

        "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

        by JVolvo on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 10:57:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  what anti-capitalist non-sense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      I could give two you-know-whats what you have to do to get by in college.  You don't make your school money. The kids who play football and basketball do.  No one is paying to watch you study.  They didn't broadcast your essay on tv last weekend. Don't you get it?  You're not profitable to the school.

      Selfish and jealous.  Yuck.  

      •  Selfish and jealous, eh? (0+ / 0-)

        I won't touch that.

        What I will address, is the fact that individual students, do, in fact, make the school money.

        We get subsidized grants and loans from the Feds, which goes straight to the school.

        We pay tuition that goes straight to the school.

        We spend money in and around the campus area, which often ends up in the coffers of the (you guessed it) school.

        I help pay for the administrative salaries that go ask Phil Knight for another $200 million dollar athletics facility.

        You don't understand the situation on the ground at Division 1 schools. Don't even pretend to know.

        •  Do you understand the difference between (0+ / 0-)

          producing revenue and paying a fee? CBS/ESPN/ABC/PAC12 Network pay Oregon money for the right to broadcast their games.  Millions of dollars.  Football and basketball are revenue producing sports. The athletes (and departments) produce millions of dollars that would not otherwise be there. And the athletes only see a tiny fraction of that money.  This is what we're talking about - how to divvy up the money the big time revenue producing sports are bringing in.  

          Marcus Mariota, Oregon starting QB, will bring in to the program hundreds of thousands more in jersey sales alone than you will ever pay to Oregon University.  Should he not be compensated for that?  The stuff you're talking about in your original posts missed one crucial element - economics.  They make the school millions of dollars, you don't.  

          The fact that they are now allowed to unionize, and seek payment for their services, is just another slap in the face to the student body who had to pay their way because they didn't play a sport. I realize that these kids bring massive surplus value to the school, but they also ALREADY receive tangible benefits. I would support expansion of medical benefits to athletes, after all they ARE at risk of injury and should be thusly protected. But past that, I cannot in good conscience support student athletes who already receive so much from my school.
          The athletes do more for the school than the school does for them.  The athletes make the school money.  The athletes bring the school prestige.  Part of the reason some of your classmates go there has a lot to do with the athletic programs.  Don't believe it?

          Northwestern experienced a 21% jump in applications after Northwestern went to the Rose Bowl.  http://www.thesmartjournal.com/...

          North Carolina State had a 40% increase in applications after winning the NCAA title. Athletic success leads to greater applications and presumably a better applicant pool (unless you think all the people who attend the game are dunces too). To sit back and say the revenue producing college athletic departments don't benefit the entire school, don't produce great wealth for the coaches/administrators/NCAA, and that all the athletes deserve is some crappy year to year scholarship that doesn't cover all there expenses is... well, not something I'd be proud to say and stand behind.  

          (BTW, I went to 3 big time athletic schools, including the school that is the subject of this case. You're not the first person to go to college).  

          Beyond that, why shouldn't persons facing similar trials and tribulations, being compensated for doing something of service to the University, why should they not be allowed to band to together and lobby for their cause (which all a union is)?  B/c you don't like it? Too bad.  

          •  I don't know about others here... (0+ / 0-)

            but I have a hard time with this notion that high-profile athletes deserve more because they generate more revenue.  I've always felt that profit shouldn't justify compensation.  I'd rather see us support teachers, social workers, mental health workers, clerical staff, custodians, childcare workers, etc.  By all means we need to look out for the health and safety of the athletes, but I don't think the revenue they produce is the justification for compensating them better.  The students in a science or music or art department add value to their programs, sometimes substantial value.  Are they less deserving of compensation because they don't generate revenue?  

            •  That is how capitalism is suppose to work... (0+ / 0-)
              I have a hard time with this notion that high-profile athletes deserve more because they generate more revenue.
              Its noble that you want to pay school teachers more, but that isn't what is happening here.  The AD of Ohio State University, already making $18k a week, got an $18,000 bonus b/c a wrestler won a NCAA championship!  What did the wrestler get? The Ohio St. coach has to be the highest paid state employee in Ohio, making millions a year base salary with hundreds of thousands in bonus incentives. But when a couple of his athletes got free tattoos, they lost their eligibility to play and eventually their scholarships. Everyone is getting rich off the labor of the workers, except the workers. And thats... okay with you? Its exploitation, but thats okay because there athletes? Because they are popular?  Because they use their bodies instead of their minds?
              Are they less deserving of compensation because they don't generate revenue?
              Yes, that is how capitalism works. People organize into unions so workers can get their fair share of profits.  I can't believe I'm having this conversation.  If you think teachers should be paid more take it up with your legislature. Why is okay for teachers to have a union but not athletes? If the teachers and grad students at Northwestern want to unionize the National Labor Relations Board is right downtown. Northwestern is a private business with a ton of wealth. They can afford to pay the people who help generate that wealth at the risk of their physical health a little bit more.  
    •  Rec'd because of abusive HR n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  If kids can form unions in university (26+ / 0-)

    and they learn there that it empowers them and prevents abuse of them, they might become models for other university students to appreciate unions.  In the south and unfortunately many other states today children can grow up never even knowing someone in a union, and hearing nothing but negative about unions.  This ruling could be the opening wedge to change that.  Kossacks should be lining up behind this ruling, not opposing.  Millennials should be proof that generational change can happen; this ruling gives us another tool to change America back to its progressive and union heritage.

    These Republicans have filibustered more . . . while accomplishing less . . . (and) while attempting to block more nominees than any other Congress in the history of our republic--Jon Stewart

    by monkeybrainpolitics on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:02:30 PM PDT

  •  Seriously people are pro-NCAA? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommymet, JesseCW, caul, Dirtandiron

    I thought that was just old folks born pre-profesisonal college sports.

    When we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.

    by genethefiend on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:11:32 PM PDT

  •  I'm not surprised though I do share your disgust. (14+ / 0-)

    Do you remember how many people were blinded to the wrongs committed at Penn State simply because they were heavily invested in being football fans of the college's team? There was even a front pager that was falling all over (him/her) self to defend the program. It was abundantly clear that the sports program was much more important to a good chunk of people at this site.

    Disgusting.

    Yet, in entering the comment section on this topic - I was appalled to find not just the usual smattering of anti-union comments, but a full blown stream criticizing the ruling and bemoaning that this will either bankrupt college sports (or, my favorite, end scholarships for academic programs as well!!) or creates a sense of entitlement for players who are already given "so much" in the form of scholarships and other perks of being an athlete.

    Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
    Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

    by BentLiberal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:23:44 PM PDT

  •  I've seen a surprising amount of anti-union (24+ / 0-)

    ... bullshit here. I have been amazed at how so many self-described liberals have internalized the years of union-bashing class warfare rhetoric of conservatives.

    Makes me sick, frankly.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:28:34 PM PDT

    •  Liberals bashing unions here? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo

      I haven't seen that. What am I missing?

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 08:54:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  heh. I think it's 2 things. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Betty Pinson, Dirtandiron

        Plenty of bashing anything-left-of-Centrist goes on here.  Guaranteed.  If you disagree, Why. Are. You. Here?

        heh

        However I'd suggest the bashing comes from the "I'd rather eat worms than call myself 'liberal'" crowd.  So Bob's off by half, imo.

        "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

        by JVolvo on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:02:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Every corner of the Internet is infested with (0+ / 0-)

        conservative trolls. DKos has less of them than other places, but there are a few.

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:39:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder how many younger posters here have had (22+ / 0-)

    ... little to no experience with unions. I'm not intending to pick on any group, but younger people in this country (particularly, post-Reagan) have heard nothing but union-bashing rhetoric most of their lives.

    It takes a toll, as that comments section revealed.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:32:14 PM PDT

    •  Its a good question (5+ / 0-)

      Though my generation I do think has a fairly open mind to collective action, even if it isn't always through the bargaining structures that have existed since Wagner. There have been some creative solidarity movements (apart from the obvious Occupy) - but the rise of anti-union or at least squeamish attitudes towards organized labor from the tech sector (see BART strike) is disturbing...

      It helps to have come from a union family - and to be a member now.

    •  It seems evident to me that it's got a lot more (4+ / 0-)

      to do with economic class than age.

      •  I'd be intersted to see a sitewide survey on that. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chinton, cybrestrike, Dirtandiron

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:42:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The reason I say that is because some of the most (6+ / 0-)

        ... virulent anti-unionists I've encountered on this site apparently don't have a proverbial "pot to piss in." And that was their complaint about unions. They were somehow being "held back" because of union work rules or some other such nonsense.

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:46:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've seen a lot more of "They didn't even go (6+ / 0-)

          to college!!!" and bitterness about tradespeople making more than degreed professionals.

          •  My worst argument over unions here was from a (12+ / 0-)

            ... disgruntled, rural radio station host who was paid next to nothing and absolutely hated the American Federation of Television and Radio Actors (AFTRA).

            This guy made zip in pay and he was pissed off at unions.

            I have had similar conversations with people who made next to nothing and were pissed because public sector union workers got pensions, god forbid!

            These folks have internalized the class warfare/class resentment rhetoric the conservatives have been spouting for years.

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:11:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  During one of the major Grocery worker (10+ / 0-)

              strikes in my area I heard workers at a chain drugstore proudly talking about crossing picket lines because "we do the same job, why should they make three times what we do???"

              Instead of "Why don't we organize and make three times what we do now?"

              Part of the problem their, however, has been a failure of mainstream American unions to continue organizing new sectors ever since the early 70's.  No one has ever offered these folks a car.  Many of them - particularly more recent immigrants- have never had a single family member in a union.

              On the other hand -

              I've been fired (sorry, "laid off") for trying to organize my workplace at least three times.  One other I'm not so sure about, they really did lay off a heck of a lot of people at the same time.

              In one of those cases, a bunch of retired Teamsters showed up to start working part time immediately after 20 or so full time employees who had gone to meetings with the Teamsters and signed cards got laid off.

              The Teamsters were very clear there was nothing they could do for us, there was just no proof why we were all laid off. Gosh. Sorry.

              That's the kind of shit that leads to a lot of lower-wage workers not thinking much of unions.  

              Many of our biggest unions are broken, and they're not being run by workers but by people with labor relations degrees who see their job as negotiating deals with employers that will keep them employed.

          •  I've seen plenty of both. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cybrestrike, Dirtandiron

            Age and geography seem to play into this as well as class.

            "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

            by tardis10 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:26:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  tradespeople (0+ / 0-)
            I've seen a lot more of "They didn't even go (6+ / 0-)

            to college!!!" and bitterness about tradespeople making more than degreed professionals.

            Well, if those people didn't consider it beneath their dignity to quote "work with their hands" then maybe they would have a skill to make that kind of money, too. But it's easier to want to drag others down.

            Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

            by Dirtandiron on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:42:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Try Googling the highest paid (22+ / 0-)

    public employees in each State and you will soon see that something is very wrong.

    In almost every state in the union, the highest paid employee is either the football or basketball coach in the public university.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:41:01 PM PDT

  •  I don't see much anti-union sentiment generally (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mchristi314, Dirtandiron

    on this site, but sports comes with a whole set of competing emotional baggage of its own.  Sports lovers may be fearful of change, sports haters  may be inclined to resent players as well as promoters.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:56:10 PM PDT

  •  I saw even worse (11+ / 0-)

    anti-union comments on the diary about Tennessee trying to pass an anti-picketing law.  Several Kos commentors saw nothing wrong with that law. Those opinions placed the commentors well to the right of the Tennessee courts, a odd position of a Kossack.  For comparison, not even the southern judges could stomach the law and they tossed it as unconstitutional.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:24:58 PM PDT

  •  Big College Athletics (8+ / 0-)

    entire business model is based on free slave labor from student-athletes. It needs to be taken down. I hope this is the first step. Let the NFL and NBA invest in developmental leagues.

  •  "If your boss doesn't think you should have a (19+ / 0-)

    Union, that should be all the proof required to figure out you need one." - My Granda

  •  Where? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093, ladasue, sweatyb

    It seems to me as I skim through the comments in Laura's diary that most people are supportive of the decision, and some people are interested in discussing how college athletics may change as a result.

    This isn't something I know or care about myself, but obviously this situation has some unique aspects and differs in some significant ways from the usual employee-employer relationship. I'm sure for people who are into college sports there are valid questions raised by this that are of interest.

    Hotbed of anti-unionism? I'm missing it. Where?

    •  denise I think this is anti union (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, Dirtandiron
      Haven't seen this IMPORTANT point (0+ / 0-)
      All scholarships are year to year. Every year most schools do cut a few scholarship players for various reasons.

      Northwestern COULD decide to cut EVERYONE from the team and recruit kids who PROMISE NOT to join the union.  That would be incorporated into all the LOIs (Letter of intent) (The thing used to "sign" players)

      What would stop them?!

      A lawsuit?  That would take years and years in the courts (as a quick and speedy trial is a joke these days)

      “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

      by 6412093 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:48:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even if it is (0+ / 0-)

        - and I think it's questionable - does it warrant a whole diary which dramatically suggests that DKos is teeming with anti-union sentiment? Does this warrant the suggestion that the comments in Laura's diary as a whole are a grave disappointment and problem to progressivism?

        I'm so tired if people who ignore the 95% who agree with them and try to whip everyone up into a fervor over the 5% who say something they don't like.

        Some people are going to express opinions that we think are insufficiently progressive. There's no need to get hyperbolic every time it happens.

    •  sensitivity due to epistemic closure (0+ / 0-)
      I quickly came over to DKos to read the reactions from Laura Clawson and others. I expected to see jubilation...
      And what he/she saw was a modest amount of high-fiving and some "get off my lawn" grousing. And I'm guessing he/she then spent the next couple hours replying to every "negative" comment and getting angrier and angrier.

      I can understand that. But this diary is just purity-shaming.

  •  This Place is FAR from Anti-Union. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver, 6412093, Dirtandiron

    But there are a dozen or so posters here who always show up in pro-Union diaries to take pot-shots at unions or question the need for or validity of unions.

    This was evident in the Chattanooga/Volkswagen UAW Vote diaries a month or so ago.

    I miss Speaker Pelosi :^(

    by howarddream on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:25:27 PM PDT

    •  Agreed, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      ...far too many of us are all too happy to throw our enthusiasm behind candidates with an anti-union record if it means there's a chance of picking up a red district somewhere. I'll never understand why some people think it's worth electing a "Democrat" when we won't be able to count on hir for much of anything.

      Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

      by RamblinDave on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:20:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remove athletics from the educational system. (4+ / 0-)

    Our educational system is bad enough without this undemocratic, unjust, unfair and corrupt system of high school and college sports.  It's not necessary to the educational system and the U.S. is one of the very few that ties it together.  

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:47:20 PM PDT

  •  Let Detroit Die! (5+ / 0-)

    You should have heard the chorus of "let Detroit die" that went through here during the attempt to rescue the automotive industry.    This not an FDR blog.  It isn't a liberal blog.  It is a partisan blog full of enough bullying neoliberals/Rockefeller Republcans with free reign to make sure it stays that way.

    I will not vote for Hillary. What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:13:19 AM PDT

    •  that is a disgusting lie (0+ / 0-)

      And how the hell do get away with posting shit about daily kos like this....is ridiculous.
      Your entire post is a effing lie.
      Your goal is once again...to whine and bitch how much dk sucks. How much you despise the blog. How its leadership and commenters suck.
      And then you post an unhinged rant that we all wanted Detroit to die.
      Sick nonsense....yet you are still here.

    •  Should University of Michigan be building cars? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      otto

      See, I see money making industry as belonging to industry, not universities.

      The University of Michigan shouldn't be building cars and competing with GM and Ford.  And the University of Michigan shouldn't be competing with the Detroit Lions or Pistons either.

      Universities don't build cars for profit, they shouldn't run athletics for profit either.  I am calling for "Let college sports die", but not for the industry to die.  I want the 18-22 year old pro-sports industry to be separate, as it should be.  And when separate from university, all the players can be union and paid.

      •  NCAA collusion with pro sports (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago

        Basically, the NCAA colludes with pro sports to reduce the options available to the players.  If you remove the NCAA from the situation, then you have a normally functioning industry just like any other.  They recruit talented employees and they train them to work in their system.  

        Some of them will succeed.  Some will fail.  

        If the issue is that sports is a way that some go to college who otherwise wouldn't, I can appreciate that.  The regional club leagues could make college attendance a part of basic contracts, if players wanted that.  

        Streichholzschächtelchen

        by otto on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 07:19:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You could eliminate... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago

        all athletic scholarships and most schools would still have plenty of athletes wanting to play on their football/basketball teams.  There would still be a media frenzy and premier programs generating big money.  In my perfect world that money would go towards needs-based financial aid, more faculty positions and eliminating abuse of adjunct teachers, better safety and medical benefits, etc.  In this world it would just go to coaches, administrators, and media executives...

  •  I see more (5+ / 0-)

    ignorance than outright antiunion sentiment. There are many people here who have internalized at least some of the right's anti-union propaganda, mostly because they themselves have no experience with unions, other than when they held a summer job years ago, on their way to a degree that would keep them insulated from manual labor for the rest of their working life. I see a lot of folks who have no idea of how a union works, or of the differences between industrial and trade unions, or how labor law restricts unions from taking actions such as sympathy strikes, or honoring other unions' picket lines. I see people with no idea of the brutality of anti-union forces in the early days, or that the police often looked the other way or even supported the violence, or that men and women died on the picket lines, fighting for rights they themselves would never enjoy.

    There are a lot of upper middle class Democrats who appear to have no idea that the unions were once the party's biggest source of support, and in turn the party's support for labor issues is what propelled millions of voters to the polls. Between WWII and Clinton, labor votes kept Democrats in charge of the House almost continuously.

    There was a time when a union man was a Democrat, period.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:51:04 AM PDT

  •  I find it ironic (4+ / 0-)

    That it is Northwestern University players got this started. They attend one of the most selective private universities in the nation that cost $45k plus per year.   Life is tough.

    The students know they are likely to never work a unionized job that pays hourly.  That's why they chant, "That's alright, that's ok, we're gonna be your boss someday".  When other teams are putting another pounding on them....

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:06:14 AM PDT

  •  I patiently explained (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093, Dirtandiron

    to my rightwing coworkers that it wasn't about getting paid so much as safety and medical care. I also explained about the academic side. They nodded agreement then went off and started spouting about what if the player hurt himself and couldn't be drafted, were they going to sue for millions? Ugh! I pointed out that players did it to get an education as well as those looking to be drafted so it wasn't all about the money. I went on to explain that it is a contract, something he should understand. The player should be compensated if he is injured even when he leaves school, especially since the schools etc made millions off him. I then said that the academic scandals, and the abuse of players was well documented. Oh, but since he hadn't heard about one in a while, it must not be true anymore. Whenever these people hear the word 'unions' they start foaming at the mouth. I gave up.

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:06:39 AM PDT

    •  Umm....not quite. (0+ / 0-)
      The player should be compensated if he is injured even when he leaves school, especially since the schools etc made millions off him.
      This is not quite accurate - allow me to explain.

      Yes, the NCAA makes millions from the efforts of its athletes. However, only a small portion of that money actually makes its way back to the athlete's school.

      Consider football bowl games. In most cases, the bowl monies go to the NCAA, which takes a cut before sending the remainder to the school's conference (SEC, ACC, etc.), which takes a cut before distributing the rest to ALL ITS MEMBERS.  The same is true for Division I basketball; the SEC has three teams in the Sweet 16 (Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee), but even the SEC teams who finished last in the SEC (and never made the NCAA tournament) are going to get a share of the tournament money. As an example, here's a breakdown of the SEC's 2012-13 revenue sharing; every school received at least $21 million, even if they finished dead last in football and/or basketball.

      Here's the important point - even with those payouts, only about 5 SEC athletic programs finished in the black without a subsidy from their university.

      When it comes to the level of individual schools, less than 10% of Division I athletic programs run in the black in any given year.  

      They may "make millions", but 90% of them are spending more than they make. That's the difference between gross revenues and net profit/loss - and that information MUST inform our discussion on this topic.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 09:25:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A good day for unions & athletes (4+ / 0-)

    What's happening at Northwestern is great. I hope they vote to unionize and I can't wait to see what happens when players in the anti-union south try to unionize a Southeastern Conference team.

    I know that unions in this country are flawed, but they're the best protection to workers that we have in this country.

    In my early activist days in college, we were lucky to have the support of the local 1199 SEIU leadership.  We worked in coalitions with them from time to time, and we picketed outside of hospitals and coalmines with the union organizers.  Some of the best political education of my life.  And the miners, nurses & steel workers were always glad (and somewhat surprised) that any college kid gave a damn about unions.

    So count this Kossack as being strongly pro-union.  

  •  Thank you. (6+ / 0-)

    From a woman who grew up in a non-union household, who never held a union job, but was lucky enough to marry a union man.

    The (non-troll)people who are anti-union on DK need to read more labor history. Maybe then they'd understand what organized labor has contributed to their personal welfare, and why it's slipping away from us. All of us.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:49:42 AM PDT

  •  Anything that gets the focus off sports (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093, RamblinDave, Dirtandiron

    and onto academics at colleges and universities is excellent.

    We have a severe problem in our politcal party. They are completely tone deaf. Anti-union comments not getting HRed here is indicative of that.

  •  I'm anti-stupid ideas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kck, NearlyNormal, bootleg

    CReating a semi pro system to further degrade our higher education system would be stupid.  

    What needs to happen is all college sports need to abide by the rules for Division III schools.  No scholarships.  

    I support these young men and women's right to earn a paycheck by playing a sport at which they have trained and practiced to achieve an elite status.  

    A regional minor league club system is by far the better alternative than creating a caste system on campus.  

    The NCAA is obviously a culprit here as well.  

    It's possible to see the situation as one huge pile of crap, as opposed to some smaller and/or larger piles of crap.

    I would also suggest that a requirement be put on funds paid to college athletes from the university.  Half of the funds need to be paid into a trust to be accessed at a later date.  Perhaps at graduation, although that would need to be fixed so that non graduating players don't lose out.  

    Streichholzschächtelchen

    by otto on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 07:11:54 AM PDT

    •  NCAA is primary culprit (0+ / 0-)

      I don't mean to say that the NCAA is some secondary culprit.  

      Streichholzschächtelchen

      by otto on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 07:15:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The trust fund is a good idea... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      otto

      I fleshed that out a bit in this comment.

      Just take a cut (say, 5%) from media contracts (national NCAA contracts, conference-level deals like the Big Ten Network, or an individual school's deal like the UK Sports Network) and put it in a trust fund.

      This year, such a trust fund would have a MINIMUM balance of at least $96 million. I think we could start covering a small monthly stipend, a catastrophic insurance policy, and an end-of-eligibility lump-sum payment with $100 million coming into the trust every year.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 09:07:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this is a college athletics story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    canabisflower

    It's the midst of March Madness and you would not know it. Nobody comes here to read about college sports. And so, for most DKosers, this decision (which made the front page) came out of nowhere.

    I understand that you see this as a "union" story. But it's really not. It's a college athletics story. And that's not really where we're at here.

    For perspective, all the major pro sports have a players union. Does that mean that the perennial CBA negotiations should be front-page news on DKos?

    This is not a reflexively "pro-union" site. This is a political site that happens to be pro-union.

  •  Let's be clear-eyed, though (0+ / 0-)

    There was a time back when unions were more influential that many of the biggest ones became corrupt and a drag on workers and business.  That's what the right exploited to demonize unions.

    We need to put out more pro-union messaging but also make it abundantly clear that the unions of today are not the unions of the 1950's and 1960's.

    Organizing college athletics is a good first step. With luck it will force the colleges to rethink their athletic programs and to structure them to benefit the athletes first.

    A next step would be organizing more grey collar or even lower-level white collar jobs.

    "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but us can free our minds." - Bob Marley

    by nightsweat on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 07:47:26 AM PDT

    •  "Benefit the athletes first"? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ororis

      More than 90% of Division I programs run in the red every single year.

      D1 schools spend MILLIONS of dollars out of their general funds to subsidize their athletic programs. Take a look at USA Today's figures for public schools in Division I.

      147 D1 schools subsidize more than 50% of their athletic budgets from university funds. In absolute dollars, the two largest university subisides were UNLV's $32.5 million (55% of the athletics budget) and Arkansas' $27.9 million (44% of the overall athletics budget).

      So, when 90% of Division I schools are already subsidizing their athletic programs with university (student/taxpayer) monies, don't you think there's already a healthy dose of "benefit the athletes first" going on?  The simple fact that the program exists, runs at a loss every year and is still subsidized by the university is a pretty big benefit, eh?

      This doesn't mean that collective bargaining cannot deliver some benefits to collegiate athletes - but it does mean that it isn't the pot-o-gold that many people believe it to be.  There are 340 athletic programs in Division I, but only 23 of them ran in the black last year.  When you start talking about what schools should do for athletes, remember that "Division I" is Alabama and Kentucky, Central Michigan and Morehead State, Grambling State and Texas-Pan American...that's a HUGE variance in resources, expenses and (lack of) revenues.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 09:01:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually I think the athletes are misserved (0+ / 0-)

        They ostensibly are student athletes, but athletics in the big schools (well, except maybe Northwestern and the Ivies) trumps academics at every turn.

        They're encouraged to put their bodies on the line early and often in hopes that they'll get drafted into the NFL or NBA when only a small percentage of them will make it.

        If the programs reorganized so they weren't benefiting primarily the alumni's egos and the pocketbooks of the big winners in sports, it would be a good thing.

        Knowing that the profits are going to be diminished in those programs where they make money will disincent the crazy money going into what should be amateur athletics.

        "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but us can free our minds." - Bob Marley

        by nightsweat on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:18:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If I were an NCAA/conference exec... (0+ / 0-)

          I would start pushing--right now--to divert 5% of gross media revenues into a trust fund. That would be 5% of the NCAA's yearly TV/radio take ($775 million this year), 5% of the conference-level TV/radio contracts (the SEC, B10, B12, Pac-12 and ACC each received at least $200 million this year), and 5% of individual schools' TV/radio contracts (the University of Kentucky received $11 million this year).

          So, even before we consider the other 300+ schools in Division I or the other 10-12 conferences, our hypothetical trust fund would launch with a balance in excess of $90 million.

          From this trust (which, we can assume, would be interest-bearing), they could easily provide:

          * a monthly stipend,
          * true catastrophic insurance coverage, and
          * (perhaps) a lump-sum payment at the end of eligibility.

          That doesn't make any athletes rich, but it's a huge improvement over what they have now. That, along with the value of their scholarship, would probably satisfy everyone who isn't claiming that collegiate athletes should be paid "real world" salaries.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:41:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You lost me (0+ / 0-)

    on hundreds of millions of dollars in profit.

    Every penny goes back into schools, paying for staff, facilities, olympic sports and then into the general education budget for academic advancement.

    some college coaches have hefty contracts, but that's hardly hundred sof millions of dollars i profits.

  •  Let's get some hard data into the dicussion. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ororis

    There is a piece of "conventional wisdom" suggesting that all "big-time college sports programs" run at a healthy profit.

    That is simply false.

    The NCAA Division I membership comes in three flavors: the Football Bowl Subdivision (FCS, big-time, bowl-game football), the Football Championship Subdivision (FBS, lesser-known, playoff-championship football), and non-football schools. In the 2011-12 year, there were 340 Division I schools; 128 were in the FBS, 124 in the FCS, and 98 non-football schools.

    Take a look at the latest NCAA Division I revenues/expenses report. Here's the money quote:

    Only 23 programs (all in the FBS) reported positive net generated revenue in 2012, the same number as in 2011. That number has ranged between 18 and 25 since 2004.
    That's right - only 23 of 340 Division I athletic programs ended 2012 in the black.

    That fact cannot be ignored. If we're going to start talking about an expansive role for collective bargaining among Division I athletes, we have to take this fact into account. Personally, I think that the initial goal of such organizing should be limited to:

    * a small monthly stipend,
    * catastrophic insurance coverage for sports injuries, and
    * a guaranteed 4-year scholarship (instead of the current year-to-year system)
    If we set goals higher than that at the outset, there is a real danger that many of that 90% of Division I programs that already run in the red every year will, at the very least, make significant cutbacks in their overall programs. (Don't forget that such cutbacks will have to follow Title IX requirements, so you'll be setting back the advancement of women's sports in the process.)

    It's also important to note that we MUST discuss this issue in terms of the individual schools/programs, because the NLRB decision didn't say that the athletes could negotiate with the NCAA or their conference (e.g. SEC, ACC, B10), but only with their own school.  The BIG money goes through the NCAA and the conferences, so the NLRB decision doesn't give athletes access to THAT pot of dough in any negotiations.

    Are there other things for which we can argue?  Certainly, and I made one such suggestion here.

    None of this is "anti-union" - but it does reflect reality.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 08:48:45 AM PDT

    •  Then where is all of that (0+ / 0-)

      money going?  The idea that athletics are prohibited from accepting gifts and that the student part of 'student-athletic' is virtally non-existent while denying non-athletic students scholarships on the basis of academics doesn't get past me.  Now if the collegiate sports programs aren't turning a profit, it doesn't mean that these institutions aren't receiving a financial windfall in other areas based upon their high profile sports teams.

      Furthermore, these kids are signing contracts to play for XYZ college.  Why the contract if there isn't any compensation?

      Personally, I'm not all that bothered by schools having to cut back their sports programs.  Honestly, some of it needs to be cut back.  To me, it's about what you can put into your brains.

      Not just what you can do with your body.

      •  Look to the middlemen. (0+ / 0-)

        To answer your question of "where is all that money going?" - it's simple:

        1) The NCAA had a $71 million surplus in 2012 and a $68 million surplus in 2011; currently, the NCAA holds more than $500 million in net assets.

        2) The five most valuable conferences are set to collect over $1.4 billion this year from bowls, tournaments and television.

        So, millions of dollars in net assets are in NCAA and large-conference coffers (SEC, B10, ACC, Big-12, Pac-12).

        That's why I say that we can't overestimate the impact of this decision or set our goals too high. The NLRB decision said that these athletes could pursue collective bargaining with their school, NOT with the NCAA or their conference. The big piles of surplus funds are sitting with the NCAA and the conferences, not with the individual schools; as I said, 90% of Division I athletic programs run in the red every year, despite subsidies by their schools.

        When it comes to what an individual school can deliver through collective bargaining, we're approaching blood-from-a-turnip status in 9 of every 10 cases.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:29:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, and I'd like to hear more about this... (0+ / 0-)

        You wrote:

        Now if the collegiate sports programs aren't turning a profit, it doesn't mean that these institutions aren't receiving a financial windfall in other areas based upon their high profile sports teams.
        What form, exactly, do you think this "windfall" is taking?

        In 2012, UNLV spent $32.5 million in university funds to subsidize its athletics program. (That was the highest subsidy among Division I schools.) You're suggesting that the university reaped a "windfall" in other areas sufficient to justify that subsidy.

        Keep in mind that merchandising money, tournament money, and NCAA/conference disbursements all go back to the athletics program, NOT the university's general fund.

        Keep in mind that donations for facilities improvements, arena/stadium expansion and the like also go through the athletic department, in most cases.

        Where's the windfall?

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:35:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think saying that DK is anti-union (0+ / 0-)

    just because you didn't like some comments that some folk made in a blog is grossly misleading and almost HR'able for the diary.

    There are RW trolls on DK.  They got something negative to say about anything progressive.  

    And then there are progressives who just don't agree unless it's their pet project involved.  

    Either way, that doesn't add up to DK being anti-union.

    You make some good points, but I can't T&R this diary for this reason.

  •  T&R; Dailykos sometimes falls into the limousine (0+ / 0-)

    liberal category and really doesn't understand working class people.  Some people seem to have no problem having mostly poor athletes subsidize the universities for mostly rich, white college students.  Major college athletics exploits athletes.  Unionization would help them fight for their rights.  I don't understand the other side.  

  •  The condescension here towards athletes truly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burlydee, Dirtandiron

    astounds me. The 'dumb jock' stereotype is pathetically outdated; has anyone here seen a modern college football or NFL playbook? [Try memorizing one if you're a 'dumb jock.'] Is anyone familiar with the concept of 'basketball IQ', and the tremendous intelligence and skill level of young players today? Both four-year college grads such as Damian Lillard and one-and-dones like Anthony Davis are among the NBA's brightest young superstars. And I do mean bright.

    Of course, they are also young African-American men. Do we want to supress their right to unionize in college because they are 'dumb jocks' whose lives don't matter? Or is something else subconsciously coloring our not-so-progressive thinking?

    Ugh. This is a monumental decision, and I am so proud of these smart, brave, pioneering Northwestern athletes.

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:18:59 AM PDT

  •  Being a proud union spouse here (0+ / 0-)

    I'm certainly not anti-union. Mr. Scribe is a retiree member of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU); just reminded him we have to go down to the union office and get his dues paid up for the year.

    I do have some concerns though with how this will be administrated and organized. There might have to be future court cases to determine if other schools will fall under the umbrella. Would this be a completely new union, or would it fall under the auspices of an established union (maybe the NFLPA could have a "junior wing" to cover collegiate football)? What would the impact be on non-revenue sports such as women's sports, tennis, swimming and the like? (Especially in light of Title IX.) There has to be some sort of organizational structure to be able to negotiate with management (in this case college administrations). And with a continually changing membership (people only playing for 3 to 4 years, 5 max for those who redshirt), it's going to be a pain keeping track of who's in and who's out. Will there be retiree members?

    I hope that actually a settlement can be reached where college athletes can be treated fairly without having to go through the union organizing process, and without unintentionally hurting other college athletes in the process.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:50:37 AM PDT

  •  International Bill of Human Rights is relevant. (0+ / 0-)

    Does the NCAA oppose International Bill of Human Rights (IBHR)? It has the force of international law since 1976.

    IBHR is a composite of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), The Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).  In 1992 the United States ratified the ICCPR and has signed (1977) but not ratified the ICESCR.

    UDHR Article 23 in part says: "Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself (and herself) and his (or her) family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection." Article 23 also states, "Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his (or her) interests." The UDHR is explicitly adopted for the purpose of defining the meaning of the words "fundamental freedoms" and "human rights" appearing in the United Nations Charter, that binds all member states. United States was the primary moving force to draft and in 1948 to adopt in United Nations General Assembly this global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. Is NCAA going to prevail in assertion that athletes do not work?

    By the 1992 U.S. ratification of ICCPR (a treaty) the U.S. holds it a "supreme law of the land" under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. ICCPR is monitored by the United Nations Human Rights Committee which reviews regular reports of States parties on how the rights are being implemented. ICCPR Article 22 is clear: everyone has the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of one's interests. The only restrictions on the right are those which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. Under the ICCPR, any restrictions on trade unions must be necessary to a democratic society. Will NCAA propose that to deny athletes the ability to organize themselves in a labor union is necessary in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others? Is that the NCAA position?

    ICESCR Article 7  states that everyone has a right to "just and favorable" working conditions that are defined as: fair wages with equal pay for equal work, sufficient to provide a decent living for workers and their dependents; safe working conditions; equal opportunity in the workplace; and sufficient rest and leisure, including limited working hours and regular, paid holidays. Article 8 assures workers can form or join trade unions and protects the right to strike. Like Cuba and South Afric the U.S. has refused to ratify ICESCR. Does the NCAA oppose letting the athletes organize or join a union because in its doing so, NCAA is expressing its solidarity with Cuba and South Africa?

    Is the NCAA opposing the athletes who want to organize because ICESCR Article 9 mandates "the right of everyone to social security, including social insurance," requiring States parties: to provide some form of social insurance scheme to protect people against the risks of sickness, disability, maternity, employment injury, unemployment or old age; to provide for survivors, orphans, and those who cannot afford health care; and to ensure that families are adequately supported??? Or is the opposition by NCAA because it does not want athletes to have what ICESCR Article 11 recognizes as the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living and to a continuous improvement of living condition which is in Article 12 said to include the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, through a comprehensive system of healthcare, which is available to everyone without discrimination, and economically accessible to all. Does NCAA oppose those standards?

    We all should support the athletes in their quest to form a union no matter what negative arguments the NCAA propounds.

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