A very hot topic and issue in the world of college football is whether or not players should have a labor union, using the basis and guidelines of the united steelworkers union. There are two very different sides of this argument and whether or not it should be put into full force. Do college football players really need a player’s labor union? Kain Colter and several former Northwestern football players firmly believe that they should. This select group, of highly educated Northwestern graduates, is in hot pursuit of forming a player’s labor union. Their motive is to try and gain more rights and benefits for the college football player.
On Tuesday February 18th former Northwestern quarterback, Cain Kolter, testified at a National Labor Relations Board meeting (Tom Ferry). Colter testified that player’s, at the division one level of athletics, deserve and need a labor union (ESPN.com). Colter testified for this because he feels strongly that particularly college football players are being treated very poorly and are not given enough benefits and rights. Colter testified that players adhere to sometimes-grueling schedules, putting in 40-50 hour weeks on football, before the season (ESPN.com). “It’s a job there is no way around it” (Kain Colter). This Colter led bid, is supported by the United Steelworkers (ESPN.com). With the United Steelworkers by Colter’s side, he is hoping that they can give him the credibility and resources he would need to gain this players labor union. As well as, help set the guidelines of the union.
Kain Colter’s attorney John Adam stated, “Being a football player at northwestern is hard work. And make no mistake, it is work, the wildcats players earn their “compensation” with blood, sweat, and tears” (ESPN.com). Players at Northwestern are feeling like they are giving so much, but not receiving proper benefits and rights. Players would be defined as “temporary employees” because they are only at school and playing football for a finite period of time (Joseph Tilson). Colter then testified that football players are also very comparable to Navy seals because of the amount of preparation and time they are forced to put in before their game or “mission” (ESPN.com). With the rigorous amounts of hours players are forced to put in, this could be very compatrable. With Colter leading the bid he is trying to show that playing football at the collegiate level is a job, that requires mind and body. Colter relating college athletes to employees simply stated, “We must abide by certain rules, and are held to a different standard as oppose to other students that are on campus,” he later again stated, “Players can get their “compensation” taken away, for example their scholarship, playing time, and starting positions” (Kain Colter).
The ex-Northwestern quarterback also stated that he could not pursue his academic dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, because academic advisors steered him away from taking Chemistry, due to...