If you happened to be watching games such as Georgia Tech or Georgia or Northwestern this afternoon, you may have noticed several players on each team sporting the initials “APU” on their wristbands.
According to ESPN.com, the letters stand for “All Players United” and is what the National College Players Association hopes to be the the latest very public shot fired against the NCAA and its treatment of football players. The NCPA is an advocacy group pushing for NCAA reforms, which range from minimizing the risk of concussions to compensation for players above what they receive now.
NCPA president Ramogi Huma told the website that the push to get players to show its support via the “APU” scrawled on wristbands began a couple of months ago, and will continue in the future.
“Players will continue to wear the APU throughout the season and spread the word,” Huma said. “They’re taking the reform effort to television, which has never been done. They’ve been using their bodies to make money for the people who run NCAA sports. Now, for the first time, they’re using their bodies to push for basic protections at the very least.”
Former shoe magnate Sonny Vaccaro, a very vocal and long-time critic of the NCAA, lauded the players for taking what he described as a “courageous” step against the NCAA.
“I thought this was a courageous, courageous day today,” Vaccaro told al.com. “It’s beautiful. They went right in front of America and truly believe it. The current football players joining the O’Bannon suit gave strength to this. I think this is only going to grow.
It’ll be interesting to see how much if any traction this movement gains. And what if any steps football programs and/or universities take to keep a lid on future protests.