College Football Roundup

Sorry, folks, today’s edition of college football roundup has been jacked by the National Labor Relations Board’s decision to allow players at Northwestern to unionize. There’s a lot to talk about.

… It’s important to note that NLRB’s ruling only applies to private schools. Public institutions do not fall under the jurisdiction of the NLRB.

… In other words, it’s not the “landmark decision” that the four-letter network keeps saying it is.

… On the other hand, Shawne Alston’s lawsuit – which accuses the NCAA and the Big 5 conferences of collusion and price fixing – is the one to keep an eye on. If Alston prevails, the entire landscape of college athletics will change forever.

… Something to think about: what happens if the schools affected by the NLRB’s ruling decide to stop offering athletic scholarships?  Did CAPA ever consider the possibility than non-scholarship students would want to play football simply for the love of the game?

… Probably not, or they would have included all student-athletes, not just football and basketball.

… The last two bullet points demonstrate the fatal flaw with the pay-for-play argument. While scholarship players make college sports better, the bottom line is that the product will exist with or without them. As long as their team is playing, fans will continue to flock to stadiums every weekend. After all, amateur athletics is about the name on the front of the jersey, not the back of it.

… Finally, I’m disappointed that the NCAA didn’t step in long before now to address some of the non-monetary concerns of the players. That certainly would have helped dispel the notion that the governing body cares only about money.

… To that end, let’s hope the NCAA will reach out and make college athletics more of a “win-win” situation for everyone.

Terry Johnson is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation. Follow him on TwitterFacebook, and/or Google+.