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Ohio politicians striking early in college union debate with state budget proposal

Rod Smith, Ray Bush

Student-athletes in the state of Ohio will not be allowed to be viewed as employees of their respective universities if some politicians in the state have their say about it. A proposal to the state’s budget review submitted Monday would prevent student-athletes from being considered employees if the proposal is passed. This is far from a certainty, but it is also a reminder that the influence from the recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago has opened eyes around the country, and not just those of football players and university officials.

“I think this is a statement of what we all thought is obvious, and that is athletes are not employees of their university,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Ron Amstutz, a Wooster Republican, according to

It will be interesting to see if this proposal passes in the state of Ohio. We knew the college players union conversation was going to develop (or devolve) in to a political game, and now it has taken that next step in becoming a political hot button issue. If Ohio passes this proposal, similar proposals in other states surely will not be far behind as the battle continues to rage.

Ohio is a good state to test these waters as well, considering the number of division one programs within the borders. In addition to Ohio State and Cincinnati, Ohio is home FBS programs at Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, Miami, Ohio, and Toledo. And we have not even mentioned the FCS programs (Youngstown State) and other programs that play division one basketball (Dayton).

As a reminder, the ruling made by the NLRB currently only pertains to private institutions, but it opens the door for progress at public institutions if Northwestern football players succeed in forming the first recognized union of collegiate players.

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11 Responses to “Ohio politicians striking early in college union debate with state budget proposal”
  1. blendedwhiskey says: Apr 7, 2014 5:10 PM

    This is interesting proposed legislation, especially considering Ohio is not a “right to work” state. If this passes, I can certainly see other states jumping on the bandwagon. I’m glad to see someone with some stones finally stepping forward before this unionizing of student athletes gains any momentum.

  2. meatcarroll says: Apr 7, 2014 5:26 PM

    This is equivalent to a chewed up was of gum trying to cover a leaky dam. Change and justice is coming and there’s nothing these entitled old codgers can do about it.

  3. bobulated says: Apr 7, 2014 5:28 PM

    But what are tOSU fans going to do when private schools like Northwestern and Notre Dame begin to out recruit them because *gasp* their players get guaranteed 4-6 year scholarships, full medical benefits and workers comp protections? Don’t think they’ll be banging the anti-union drum then.

  4. barkleyblows says: Apr 7, 2014 8:47 PM

    Lmao did you really say Northwestern will out recruit Ohio State??? Probably won’t happen…. Ever.

  5. musketmaniac says: Apr 7, 2014 10:14 PM

    bark don’t talk out of your ass. if some schools can pay these kids and some schools refuse to. I don’t need an education to figure this one out.

  6. jeffreyperria says: Apr 8, 2014 12:29 AM

    It would be interesting if these kids will get to use thier names and likeness while in school. Now that would be a huge recruiting tool. For example. Sabin and urban recruiting the same 5 star recruit. But a Bama alum offers to play this dude 15 million in endorsements if he signs with Bama. Or imagine Nike at oregon. Could change the whole scope of football. Deeper pockets better players

  7. manik56 says: Apr 8, 2014 1:05 AM

    I do not think Northwestern would be a B1G member much longer if they paid their players and others did not. Colter would feel proud about that.

  8. laxer37 says: Apr 8, 2014 1:11 AM

    Still never seen an instance where a kid was forced to play college football. You don’t like the rules? Feel you’re being taken advantage of?

    Then don’t sign the scholarship offer! There are tens of thousands of players willing to take your spot under the current system. The players have zero leverage.

  9. blendedwhiskey says: Apr 8, 2014 10:28 AM

    This argument of unionizing student athletes so they can be compensated as employees of their university is ridiculous. It’s a slap in the face to all the hard working families who have sacrificed and saved for many years so their kids could get a college education. All of those families would be thrilled if their kids received an athletic scholarship. If student athletes have a genuine need for extra money to offset their additional expenses, they can always apply for Pell grants. Or God forbid, their parents may need to pony up a little extra spending money each month. Here is a great article on why student athletes should not be paid:

  10. teedraper says: Apr 8, 2014 11:09 AM


    That way when they are deemed employees federally no top football athlete will attend Ohio state bc they won’t be paid!

    Thank you stupid ohio politicians! We love it!

  11. mogogo1 says: Apr 8, 2014 1:18 PM

    Because as big a mess as this thing currently is, just imagine how much bigger a mess it will be after the politicians get involved.

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