Northwestern's football team participates in an NCAA college spring football practice Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in Evanston, Ill. After spring break, Northwestern resumed spring football practices with a huge issue that could change the college sports landscape hanging over their heads. A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled last week that the team can bargain with the school as employees. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Tasker: College Players Unionizing is a Logical Step, Unsure of Result
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Recently, Northwestern University football players voted to organize a union and gain collective bargaining rights. A former Bill and Wildcat says while he applauds their initiative, he wonders what they'll gain.
"I think it's an enormous step, and I think with what all's been said about paying college athletes and criticism of colleges making so much money off their sports programs," says Tasker, currently a CBS Sports analyst. "I think it's a logical step, I don't know how much it will change for the players but it will be interesting to find out."
Tasker also wonders why players signed on if they felt they were being exploited. "If I didn't like the deal, I could not play, not accept a free college education. The colleges are the ones who run the program. If the kids feel they're being exploited, they don't have to go," believes Tasker. He adds for every one player unhappy about the deal, there are "at least ten players standing in line to take that scholarship."
Tasker says he doesn't have an issue with the players pursuing a collective barganing agreement, but he believes the only organization they'll have to negotiate with is the NCAA. "In my observation, the NCAA a lot of times seems arbitrary at best when it comes to colleges violating the rules. It will changes the landscape some, but I don't know if the NCAA is all adept at those kinds of negotiations. The NCAA doesn't negotiate, it sets the rules and that's it," says Tasker.
Tasker adds there is a fraction of a percentage of all college-athletes who have a chance to make money off their names while playing in college.