The impact of last week’s National Labor Relations Board ruling in Chicago, declaring football players at Northwestern to be recognized as employees of the university, does not have a direct impact at public institutions at this time. This does not mean coaches at public schools are not taking notice of what could be a changing landscape in collegiate athletics. At Ohio State, head coach Urban Meyer wonders if the unionization of college football players is good for the sport, and collegiate athletics in general.
“[To] say (players) can go out and get their own shoe contract and things like that,” Meyer said, according to The Columbus Dispatch. “I think, ‘What would that do for this great sport, and really, what would that do for college athletics?’ ”
At the heart of the NLRB ruling that supported the College Athletes Players Association was the argument that student athletes put in a tremendous number of hours to prepare and train for football, which may lead to less time for academics. Meyer recognizes this, but says measures have already been taken into consideration with the rules to allow for academics.
“A quarterback can’t play college football at a high, high level at 20 hours per week,” Meyer said. “He’s got to do it on his own. I think it’s a great rule.”