Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2014 Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 126

MURPHY'S LAW DAN MURPHY T he steely picks of logic continue to chip away at the NCAA's façade of amateur athletics. Another siz- able chunk fell last month a few hours northwest of Notre Dame's campus. During the last week of March, the National Labor Relations Board — a federal government agency — decided that college football players at North- western should be considered employ- ees of the university. The case landed in the NLRB's Chicago office when former Wildcats quarterback Kain Col- ter petitioned to start a players' union to fight for better benefits. The NCAA argues that Colter and his teammates are students, not employees and there- fore cannot unionize. When looking at the relationship between most Divi- sion I college football players and their schools, the NCAA's argument is hard to buy. These are young men who receive compensation for a task that gener- ates money for the school. If they quit or are fired (and in big-time college football a player can be effectively fired for any reason a coach chooses) they no longer receive their compen- sation. "I thought it was a very well-rea- soned, well-supported decision," said Barbara Fick, a labor law professor at Notre Dame. "It was in line with all the right factors and standards that you look at." For those interested solely in Notre Dame's ability to compete for champi- onships, the union ruling would be a major victory if it stands up through the many rungs of the legal system still left to climb. Private schools like Notre Dame would have a leg up on public institutions because only state governments can give public employ- ees the right to unionize. The Irish ath- Union Talk Is Another Crack In The NCAA Wall Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter began the charge for NCAA players to unionize, and the National Labor Relations Board ruled in his favor during the last week of March. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - May 2014 Edition