College Football Players Should be Treated as Employees

The debate has been raging, or at least simmering exuberantly, for quite a few years over the status of athletes involved in college athletics.


The latest volley by the athletes-are-employees-and-entitled-to- compensation camp has come in the form or a ruling by a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that has ruled that the footballers of Northwestern University in Illinois are employees and therefore have the right to form a union for collective bargaining purposes.

Division 1 NCAA College Football is, and has been for years, an extremely lucrative source of revenue for everyone with their hand in the pie except for those most responsible for generating these revenues, the players.

If, and this is a really big if, because the decision by the NLRB is far from the last word, this ruling were to become the accepted viewpoint, the ramifications would most definitely extend to the SEC.

How this all would affect college athletes is murky, but given the downward spiral of labor union power and influence over recent decades, it would seem as though athletes might want to take a cautious approach.

After all, the labor unions, having served a very legitimate purpose in rectifying massive abuses of the labor force by management in the early 1900s, became so enamored of their power that they have played a large role in the decline of the skilled labour force that manufactured the items that were a part of everyday life. The insistence that union members be progressively paid higher and higher wages as the result of tenure, without an equivalent increase in productivity, has meant that coal miners and steel workers in Pennsylvania, auto workers in Detroit, and other occupations have inexorably declined.

It requires only a small stretch of the imagination and just a little bit of tongue-in-cheek musing to envision a future where an SEC school such as the University of Georgia finds a way to outsource football and other NCAA revenue producing sports to foreign countries.

If it could happen to manufacturing, it could happen to college athletics.

Regardless of the eventual outcome, and it would seem to be that players of all sports that have limited potential for future windfall paydays as professionals would benefit, SEC athletic teams and games are a great way to utilise some of the free bets that can be yours when you sign up with an online bookmaker.

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By Mo Johnson, Copyright © 2006-2014 SECSportsFan.com

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