Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Beginning of the End for College Football?

A couple of players for Northwestern University.....have put the paperwork up and are progressing toward forming a union.  There are steps left, and it might collapse at some point.  You can figure judges might step into the way.....a court episode with the NCAA.....and even the university itself might fight this tooth and nail.  But there's some fair odds that the union will form.....and spread.

So, you need to ask yourself.....what would be the goal of a college football union.  They'd want healthcare of a better type.....guaranteed....and likely to extend for years after they finish at the university.  They might seek some non-financial compensation....going past tuition and room & board.  They might just go after the authorities at the NCAA, and make some demands that would toss them upside down.

Strikes?  Yeah.  They could stand up on a Friday evening and indicate a twenty-four hour strike for Saturday.....where a big game might be on the line.  Networks upset over the cancellation of a scheduled game?  Probably so.  Fans upset over purchasing their tickets and arranging hotel reservations.....only to discover the game will be cancelled?  Fans might be real upset.

Expanding the union beyond just one team or one university?  I'd take a guess that it'd only take seven days after they are confirmed as a union....for at least two more football teams in the NCAA to announce they will do the same action.  You could have forty teams unionized within a year.

The folks who will suffer?  The NCAA would have to hire an entire branch of new legal guys to handle the various negotiations, and they never come cheap.  University presidents might sit and ponder over the cost of the entire program....and wisely say it's not worth the pain or financial incentive for the college....thus disbanding the whole football program.    Big name high school players avoiding unionized teams?  It's more than likely.....you'd certainly want a non-union school to display your talents.  It'd work just like car plants being established in southern states today.

The issue here......is that NCAA football has become something that is more of a business than a sport.  Coaches make millions, and state officials just grin and bear the pay requests.  Agents sneak around and work up secret deals while guys are in the first year at some college.....pushing secret money toward the kid....paying for cars....and helping the family while Johnny plays tight-end for Texas Tech.  Nothing much in NCAA football is ethical....except the rules for good conduct on the field.

For some reason, I like this idea.  Yeah, it might dissolve the NCAA in a decade, and turn college football into a business operation (which it always has been).   Yeah....tickets might go up another twelve bucks.  Yeah....strikes might occur with various teams and screw up future TV contracts.

Changes.....might be coming.

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