The players of Northwestern’s football program are trying to unionize their team and one of the National Football League’s chief executive officers claims it could lead to the development of a whole new farm league for football players. According to NBC Sports, Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said in a Q&A at Packers.com that he believes unionized college teams would force the NFL to form their own “developmental league” instead of recruiting players directly from the college leagues. [Image via The U.S. Army/Flickr]
Let’s take a step back and see how we got to this point. A former Northwestern player formed the College Athletes Players Association last month by filing a petition with the National Labor Relations Board, according to the Chicago Tribune. Kain Colter included a list of demands that he hopes will give players more leverage and help over issues such as medical expenses related to game injuries, “due process” for players who lose their scholarships for rule violations and compensation for “cost of attendance” and commercial sponsorships.
So the main enemy in this scenario is the NCAA who make billions off the players on the field without adequate compensation or protection for their concerns, according to Colter.
The word “union” has become a hot button one because of other political issues outside of sports–but it’s a big stretch to say that the NFL would have to revamp their entire talent scouting system. Especially when Murphy doesn’t have any proof to back up his claim. He’s making it sound as though a union would prevent an NFL scout from talking to a player about a possible deal, or it even having an affect on their famous draft. There’s nothing to indicate that that’s part of Colter’s deal. Yet, but we’re still looking forward to seeing how all this shakes out for a college population that’s both exploited and pampered.