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College players union movement has NFLPA’s support

Kain Colter AP

If there is one established union that best understands the desires, demands and points of view of college football players, it is the NFL Players Association. The NFLPA is supporting the players union movement at Northwestern, and likely would lend support to any other players unions that could follow in the footsteps of a successful union push at Northwestern.

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFLPA, wrote a column for The Huffington Post Tuesday, laying out the reasons the NFLPA supports the movement led by Northwestern’s Kain Colter. Smith notes the opinions expressed by university officials, coaches and NCAA officials is off the mark.

“The response of the NCAA, the university president and people who don’t want to hear Kain and his teammates is essentially, “Shut up and play.” The NCAA sells and wants college athletes to be a team everywhere except in a room where they can talk about the issues they care about,” Smith writes. “The truth is that they do not want a team that demands a response from a system that makes millions from their play.”

There is still some work to be done before Northwestern players officially form the first college players union in the country. A vote is set for later this month where Northwestern players will vote to form an official union. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald is urging his players to vote no, and the university is still on track to challenge the ruling made by the National Labor Relations Board.

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11 Responses to “College players union movement has NFLPA’s support”
  1. rabbi187 says: Apr 8, 2014 9:09 PM

    I sure hope for their sake that the student athletes at Northwestern aren’t taking any advice from that pea brain Smith.

  2. peddealer says: Apr 8, 2014 9:35 PM

    When I first heard of this weeks ago, I was shocked and knew this would be gigantic… Took a couple weeks, it gained traction, but I promise you (especially since you don’t know me) this will change everything as we know it as far as amateur collegiate athletes go.

  3. thefiesty1 says: Apr 8, 2014 9:50 PM

    Of course DeMo the pimp would endorse it. Why does anyone listen to this jerk?

  4. honkerdawg says: Apr 8, 2014 9:58 PM

    Don’t think much of D Smith, but even less of coaches who make millions, schools who make hundreds of millions, and the NCAA who makes billions all on the legs and arms of ALL college athletes

  5. musketmaniac says: Apr 8, 2014 10:04 PM

    not exactly a surprise

  6. irishdodger says: Apr 8, 2014 11:10 PM


    So why so resentful for the coaches making millions? Other than maybe Lane Kiffin, these guys earned a degree & then had to catch on as a GA somewhere. Then they had to climb the ranks of assistant coaches to coordinators in hopes of landing a head coaching job at a lower division school before becoming a coordinator at a big time program & then maybe getting a HC gig at a major program. All that time at the office, in the recruiting trail, on the field, in the weight room, at the alumni club meetings,etc. Then their job security lies in the results of 18-23 yr olds performance on the gridiron. Go trace the route that most of the current big program coaches took: Saban, Pete Carroll, Urban Meyer, Les Miles, Stoops, Brian Kelly, Chip Kelly, Malzahn, Jimbo Fisher, etc. They all had to pay their dues. You’re delusional if you think kids choose a program b/c of the school….the majority choose a program based on the HC. That program then wins enough conference titles & bowl games to bring in millions to the university. Yes, the players have to perform but they chose that school for one primary reason….the head coach.

  7. kilt1iron says: Apr 8, 2014 11:41 PM

    @irishdodger —

    Well said my friend, well said!

  8. psly2124 says: Apr 9, 2014 12:12 AM

    I can’t wait until these student athletes get there tax bill for their scholarship. 50k scholarship, Uncle Sam wants his 30%, oh and the union wants its dues of at least 100 a month. Where are these students coming up 16,200 each year. One other thing bankruptcy does not clear up back taxes either. So at the end of 4 years each student will have racked up 60k in back taxes which interest is compounded monthly, like a loan shark which is the i.r.s. So what have these football players gained when they don’t graduate. Serious financial difficulties ahead. Thank you union for ruining the lives of many young athletes. Unions just want the dues. They don’t care where it comes from or te destruction that it causes.

  9. blendedwhiskey says: Apr 9, 2014 10:41 AM

    The position of the NFLPA is irrelevant toward the unionizing of student athletes. The NFL has a free farm system with college football players. They cherry pick the best athletes and have no developmental costs and very little risk. If the NFLPA really wants to lend their support to this issue, let them pay the bill. We all know that’s not going to happen!!
    The real issue is the ridiculous costs to states and their public university systems. Most states are doing everything they can to slash their budgets, which translates to less money going to their university systems. There is no way states are going to take on thousands of student athletes as new “employees”. The costs for compensation, healthcare, retirement, workers comp, etc would simply be prohibitive. Even if states could afford to do it, it’s the taxpayers of each state that would ultimately pay the price in the end.

  10. bigjdve says: Apr 9, 2014 11:37 AM

    The question I still have is that college athletes are supposed to be amateur, if they start getting paid then they lose their amateur status, how can they then play at the college level?

    The amateur status rule is in place for all sports, so it would apply to football as well.

  11. tipstopten says: Apr 9, 2014 2:04 PM

    If the college players vote for the union. I hope
    those programs are shut down. If they receive
    and money other than a monthly stipend and the
    scholarship that could be worth (thousands) they should lose their amateur status. If they want to
    get paid play in the NFL.

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