The Northwestern University Football Union and the NCAA’s Death Spiral

Dave Zirin:

“Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered,” – Mark Cuban

The experts said that the efforts of the Northwestern University football team to form a union would crash and burn. The experts scoffed that these naïve jocks would lose their case before the National Labor Relations Board. The experts all believed that this is what they call “settled law.” After all, since the 1950s, when the widow of a football player who died on the field of play failed in her efforts to sue the NCAA for worker’s compensation, it was clear to the courts that these were not workers but “student-athletes.” The experts were proven wrong on Wednesday and the established order in the sports world has been shaken to its foundations.

The NLRB has ruled that& the Northwestern Wildcats are in fact workers. They ruled that since players do not get class credit for playing football and that they are given value for their time playing football, namely an annual scholarship that is worth over $60,000, then yes, they can organize themselves into a union.