I just thought I'd send out feelers on this subject, since it's kind of important moving forward and kind of relates to Wake athletics.
As I'm sure, many of you are aware that Northwestern athletes recently won a rather momentous decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in which the federal government recognized college athletes as employees and granted them the right to vote to unionize. The actual vote on unionization will occur later this month, and is by no means a sure thing: the leading impetus of the movement, quarterback Kain Colter, is a senior, and other Northwestern players have publicly stated that they consider this Colter's movement, not a teamwide initiative. In addition, coach Pat Fitzgerald has publicly asked the players to vote to not unionize.
So, my questions to you, BSD readers, is fairly simple: do you think Wake athletes should be granted the extra benefits that College Athlete Players Association (CAPA) has argued for on behalf of the Northwestern players? Unlike most of the media discussion framing the debate, these benefits extend beyond "pay-for-play" measures to include:
- policies to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries in athletes by reducing contact in practice and adding qualified examiners during games
- raising the scholarship amount to cover cost-of-living expenses (which are currently not included)
- requiring schools to pay for sports-related injury costs
- reduce amount of class time missed for game travel
- fully guarantee future scholarship money for student-athletes in good academic, athletic, and conduct standing
- prohibit schools from using sports-related injury as reason to cut scholarship money
- establish uniform safety guidelines and means of reporting safety violations anonymously
- allow players to maintain outside employment and remove restrictions on players being able to benefit from commercial opportunities
- prohibit punishment of current student-athletes for past wrongdoings (i.e., postseason ban because of academic violations many years ago)
- guarantee that student-athletes can transfer to a different school without being forced off scholarship (currently, student-athletes that are not granted transfer requests may not receive a scholarship for the first year at their new school)
- guarantee that student-athletes can transfer one time without having to suffer the existing one-year eligibility penalty
I only ask that you keep things civil in the comments below. This is obviously an extremely controversial issue, and as such there are no right or wrong answers. Furthermore, the beliefs at play defending one side or another are, in fact, beliefs; as such, they are unique to each individual. I sadly lack the ability to police the comments section, but I hope that the people that possess such power will promptly prohibit any such provocative posts.