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Report: Northwestern’s Fitzgerald ‘disappointed’ by Colter’s APU stance

Kain Colter AP

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald told CBSSports.com that he was disappointed that quarterback Kain Colter participated in the All Players United movement without letting the team know first.

Colter was the highest profile name attached to the awareness campaign that emerged out of the quarterback’s participation in the National College Players Association. Twenty-eight players, from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Northwestern, displayed the initials “APU” somewhere on their equipment on Saturday. The plan to raise awareness to players’ rights had been planned for months according to NCPA president Ramogi Huma.

Colter wrote “APU” on both of his wrist bands during Northwestern’s game with Maine this past Saturday.

His actions didn’t sit well with Fitzgerald, who wants players to be team focused.

“I told him I was disappointed in him, not that he believes in the cause and not that he was taking a role in that but … what we try to do collectively is team focused.”

“I told him, ‘I don’t think you were trying to draw attention to yourself. I don’t think you were trying to step out of bounds of the team, but if you’re going to do things like that in the future it needs to be done and vetted through the systems we have in place.’ It was a teachable and coachable moment.”

Fitzgerald isn’t the only coach disappointed with his players over this. Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson also expressed reservations about a few of his players taking part in the movement this past weekend.

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11 Responses to “Report: Northwestern’s Fitzgerald ‘disappointed’ by Colter’s APU stance”
  1. honkerdawg says: Sep 24, 2013 9:59 PM

    Yes, God forbid a college football player or any athlete has a mind of his own and the courage to take a stand for something he not only believes in, but what’s more ruffles the feathers of the NCAA and all the others that profit from their on field performance – except the athlete himself that is! The coach does get a hefty paycheck and raises doesn’t he.

  2. lowtalker says: Sep 24, 2013 11:03 PM

    yes, the coach does get a paycheck. And Colter pays no tuition and gets 50K plus worth of education per year. What is the problem. He is reimbursed very nicely for his efforts.

  3. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 24, 2013 11:08 PM

    Fans need to get away from the myopic view on NCAA Football and Men’s Basketball.
    Fans believe the football players and men’s basketball players should be compensated because “WE make all the money”

    True, a handful of athletic programs, a Texas, an Alabama, make tremendous amounts of coin for their respective programs. The dirty little secret is that for every Texas, there is a University of Hawaii that loses money. 95% of athletic programs are in the red every year. The NCAA has imperfect as it is, negotiates the TV contracts in football and Men’s basketball to benefit the entire NCAA, Division I, II and III programs. It provides educational opportunities over 600,000 student athletes annually. You think women’s sports are going to be okay with the Football team and Men’s basketball receiivng a stipend and women’s field hockey gets bupcus? Title IX will rear it’s ugly head and enforce equality.

    The top tier programs with large alumni bases will absorb that cost easily. What about programs like Marshall, Akron, Temple? What about the B1G who said they would consider dropping down to Division III (maybe then they could win a football National Championship, just kidding) if they have to pay athletes.

    Take a mythical University, say Whatsamatta U out of Frostbite Falls, Mn. Say they
    have equal scholarships of 140 men and 140 women athletes. That’s 280 rides.
    Say that their annual athletic budget is $12 million annually.. They are subsidized
    by the NCAA, yet still run a deficit every year. You pay each athlete $4,000 an academic year to cover “expenses”, you have an additional expense of $1,120,000
    per year. now you add medical athletes and any type of redshirt program in football
    ,where do you get the money. It becomes cost prohibitive to have an athletic
    program. The big boys thrive and the smaller schools go bye bye.

    Food for thought.

    RTR

  4. sparky151 says: Sep 25, 2013 3:19 AM

    Coaches tend to be control freaks. Fitzgerald and Paul Johnson are living down to the stereotype, passive-aggressively criticizing their players.

  5. whitdog23 says: Sep 25, 2013 7:59 AM

    now the NCPA wants $$$$$?? who’s next. band, cheerleaders, PA announcers, guys who hold the first down markers??
    there’s more than enough value in a free college education for the athletes.

  6. baldyscotsman says: Sep 25, 2013 8:34 AM

    amosalanzostagg–

    Could not agree more(and yes, I am still stinging from the loss your Tide put on my Irish). I have no doubt the upper echelon teams would be able to survive paying athletes–most would welcome the advantage–but the middle tier/non-AQ teams that are hoping for just one upset a year are the ones that this will hurt.

    Also, one of my main questions with the “payment” is how will it be given? Will all scholarship athletes get an even amount? or will the QB get $5k and the backup Soccer Goalie get $200? both are on Scholarship and getting the same education opportunities, so how do you decide?–Just food for thought.

  7. mediocrebob says: Sep 25, 2013 9:04 AM

    Sparky.

    I don’t think you could be more wrong. At least with Pat Fitz. He simply doesn’t want any unnecessary attention placed on an individual. He even said he isn’t angry and that it was a “coachable moment”. And I think he’s dead on.

  8. thesconnienation says: Sep 25, 2013 11:09 AM

    @ honkerdawg says:
    Sep 24, 2013 9:59 PM

    The coach does get a hefty paycheck and raises doesn’t he.”

    ____________________________

    After many years on the job, yes. Right out of high school? Nope

  9. thesconnienation says: Sep 25, 2013 11:18 AM

    amosalanzostagg–

    You are on the right path. However even big schools will suffer. If you are paying that Football player X amount of dollars, you will have to pay that Women’s basketball or volleyball player the exact same thing. Every school that takes government money must comply (or being on the path) with Title IX. I love your point on DII & DII funding. Their championships are paid for by DI money.

    Fans see the big dollars that coaches get, but forget that full-ride (and some partials) get tuition, books, a meal plan (better food than students get), per diem, snacks, nutritionists, laptops, ipads, tutors, priority scheduling, strength coaches, great workout facilities, more clothes than they can wear, job placement help. Oh, and admission into schools that may never have given them a second look.

    They (if they choose) can enter the working world with little to no debt and a resume that will get their foot in the door at many jobs.

  10. mogogo1 says: Sep 25, 2013 6:29 PM

    No idea what Fitzgerald’s motivation was in commenting, but he wasn’t the only coach who expressed disappointment. Ignore the tiny protest and it is quickly forgotten. Go out of your way to comment on it and suddenly you’ve handed legitimacy to the deal.

    Is this a coachable moment? Probably so, but possibly not in the manner Fitzerald would like. Maybe he can explain to Colter why the rules would make Colter sit out a whole season if he transferred, while Fitz could coach someplace else immediately. The entire system is laid out to screw over the player.

  11. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 25, 2013 9:52 PM

    mogogo1,

    No one FORCES any student athlete, man or woman. to sign an NCAA Grant in
    Aid. Each signs a “grant in aid” of his or her’s own volition. In exchange for a talent or skill, the student athlete receives an opportunity to gain an education that could be worth well over a million dollars. What value do you put on an education?

    As to an answer to compensating student athletes, Johnny Manziel has provided a
    template for compensation. Allow each student athlete to copyright their image, likeness, autograph and nickname. Each student would have the same opportunity to obtain endorsements. The marketplace will determine just how much compensation the athlete will receive. No agents, no sports memorabilia brokers, no alums or front companies. The student athlete will file with the NCAA all vendors and sponsors that he has signed with. Total compensation would be in a trust controlled by the athlete with limited access to the trust for expenses totaling say $4,000 per year. Any excess would be the athlete’s upon graduation
    or leaving school early. Any excess monies would taxable in the year leaving or could be held in the trust for education purposes.

    Imagine if every NCAA football player on an Auburn football team with Cam Newton would be able to share in a royalty from EA sports on video games?
    The O’Bannion suit would have never been filed.

    Imagine minor sports like Men’s lacrosse and Women’s volleyball having their
    athletes compensated by Nike for using their product on the field or court?

    RTR

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