Yesterday the first real step was taken in the destruction of college football as we know it when the National Labor Review Board declared the Northwestern football players were employees and that they could indeed, form a union if they so chose to do so.
Or something like that.
I'm not going to pretend to understand labor law, but that's why SBNation has lawyers that are writers or writers that are lawyers (take your pick). You can read all about what they have to say below.
You can also read all sorts of articles about why and how and what until your ears bleed.
Pay careful attention to the terms being thrown about, though. Notice that Mark Emmert (linked below) says players don't need a paycheck. That's the NCAA's approach - to frame everything as if this is about players being paid, when clearly is not. It's an approach that will work for them - there is all sorts of rabble on twitter about unions, and players being paid and being taxed, and how they'll end up worse off than ever before mostly because we've all come to hate unions, not because any of these things pertain to the subject at hand.
At some point, expect Emmert to portray the NCAA as victims, being attacked by lawyers and student athletes who would "bite the hand that feeds them".
Yesterday I wrote sarcastically that it would take the NCAA until 2035 to pay student athletes a stipend. Given appeals and all the lawyerin' it may still take that long, but the NCAA would be wise to stop shoving their heads up their collective asses and start making real changes.
One change that might appeal to players is the provision of a stipend; an amount of money specifically to cover the cost of the difference between a full scholarship and the cost of actually attending a university.
With the millions pouring into college football, did the NCAA think that they wouldn't attract tons of lawyers? It's like they never even considered the possibility. Now they're being sued by just about everyone possible, and they're not going to win them all.
That's the real danger here - that the NCAA will continue in it's current form of denial until they're really struck a blow, one that actually ends the sport as we know it.
Explaining what the Northwestern college football union decision means - SBNation.com
Kain Colter and the Northwestern football team can unionize. So what does this mean, and what happens next, for the Wildcats and elsewhere?
Northwestern ruling sends clear message: NCAA, it's time to negotiate - College Football - Andy Staples - SI.com
Donald Remy was disappointed Wednesday. This has become somewhat of a theme for the NCAA's chief legal counsel. In fact, if the fictional Soggy Bottom Boys are stumped for their next hit, they should consider writing "Man of Constant Disappointment" and dedicate it to Remy.
Questions, answers about college union ruling
A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled Tuesday that Northwestern football players could unionize. Does that mean some players will be able to organize and get better health care and academic support? Or does it spell the end of college sports as we know it? The AP takes a look at all sides of the issue.
Northwestern Wildcats football players win bid to unionize - ESPN
In a potentially game-changing moment for college athletics, the Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board ruled Wednesday that Northwestern football players qualify as employees and can unionize.
The College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), led by Northwestern's Kain Colter, won their case at the National Labor Relations Board. Which means college athletes can have a union.
The NCAA released a statement on the NLRB ruling, and it is hilariously, excessively wrong - Sippin' On Purple
The NCAA seems to realize that they're being threatened by Northwestern's football union, but if their grasp of what's happening is truly as limited as a press release seems to indicate, they are overwhelmingly boned.
NCAA Disagrees with Union Decision | NCAA Public Home Page - NCAA.org
"While not a party to the proceeding, the NCAA is disappointed that the NLRB Region 13 determined the Northwestern football team may vote to be considered university employees.
College athletes win first battle in labor union movement - SBNation.com
Players still have a long way to go, but one of the biggest obstacles between them and the next version of college athletics is out of the way.
An all-expenses paid degree should be enough incentive for the college athletes who don't turn pro, NCAA President Mark Emmert told CNBC.
The Saddest Thing That Happened, Though.
Psych has ended. The Blueberry was sold for $40,000. Damn.