The National Labor Relations Board recently ruled in favor with Kain Colter and the Northwestern Wildcats football players that they are considered employees of their university and can unionize.
Northwestern is scheduled to vote on April 25th and head coach Pat Fitzgerald is urging his players to vote against a union and that would make NCAA president Mark Emmert content as he ripped the thought of unionization today in a press conference at the Final Four.
“To be perfectly frank, the notion of using a union employee model to address the challenges that do exist in intercollegiate athletics is something that strikes most people as a grossly inappropriate solution to the problems,” Emmert said Sunday. “It would blow up everything about the collegiate model of athletics.”
This has the potential to be a long and drawn out process with a series of appeals and a lot of back-and-forth from both parties involved to come to a compromise for the betterment of collegiate athletics.
“There’s some things that need to get fixed,” Emmert said. “They’re working very aggressively to do that. No one up here believes that the way you fix that is by converting student-athletes into unionized employees.”
Emmert and the NCAA has been criticized in the past for how they have handled past events, and this is an important time for college athletics that could see the entire fabric of the NCAA altered as we’ve known it.
Emmert, conference commissioners and university presidents are prepared to address the things that need to be fixed, but in their mind a union is not the best way to do so.