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Thread: Should college students be able to unionize?

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    Re: Should college students be able to unionize?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    Why wouldn't it be legal or right?
    They are students, thus they are consumers. Let's say a couple of consumers of the service of a mechanic shop demanded that they get payment for the shop being graced with their magnificent presence? The shop would tell them to take a hike. Especially if they received parts and service for free. College ids just another business.



    They have a highly sought after talent that the University desires and they want to maximize the reward they get for exercising that skill or talent.
    So they should be employees of the college and not students? That's fine, what ever their tuition costs, give them that. And if they want to attend college they can pay for it.

    At the moment it seems to me like its a mutually beneficial relationship but one side benefits quite a bit more.*
    Yeah it benefits the students a lot more, they have the opportunity to become pro game players and make millions. Wait, no it doesn't benefit one side over the other.
    These guys are shooting themselves in the foot. Someone is only worth what they are worth. And the world is flooded with people that would rather play games than have a real job. Where greedy John wants money for being given this opportunity, Paul over here will take the opportunity for free. And there are way more Pauls than there are Johns.


    *Disclaimer: I know very little about sports. This is based on a cursory review of a few articles on the matter.
    I know less. I am not the least bit interested in watching grown men/junkies play children's games.
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  2. #122
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    Re: Should college students be able to unionize?

    College football is a billion dollar business that does everything it can to pretend it is anything other than that.

    Men's College Basketball and Football makes millions of dollars in revenue for the big schools and, in many areas, are regional icons (anyone who has been to the southeastern US in the fall/winter can attest to this). These Northwestern athletes have, at the very least, taken a step to say that with all this money flying around, the athletes sacrificing their bodies aren't even given a voice when making determinations in the billion dollar industry. The phrase "Student Athlete" was invented to create a class of workers which has no rights and is essentially held captive by the employer. Specifically, the euphemism was created to get rid of the need for workers compensation after injury.

    What other for-profit institution could break an employees leg, then claim that the employee should just be happy with his "opportunity"? Said employee is then laid off with no medical expenses covered for his injuries sustained while working, no severance pay after years of loyalty, and no (legal) pay. Often, the athlete is not even allowed to finish getting his degree after injury as he no longer has value on the plantation. The fact that his injuries may make his life harder for the rest of his days, and that the school benefited from his sacrifice, matters not.

    On top of this is the de facto reality of payouts from boosters, Universities sacrificing their integrity for athletes (if you have a degree from, say, Miami or Auburn, don't be surprised if I chuckle when you bring up the academic challenges you faced), and an organization running the whole show that is so sleazy it makes the IOC look like angels.

    If universities can't run Minor League Football in a way that protects their workers like other for-profit businesses do and still turn a profit themselves, then universities need to get out of the business of Minor League Football. With all the money flying around, I can only bear the excuses for so long before tuning out altogether.

    One idea is that instead of pretending members of the University of Alabama football team, for example, belong anywhere on a campus of higher learning, instead create a University of Alabama Football Association which provides revenue to the school and legal economic rights for the players who either want to develop into a professional or are, as is the case with most 18-24 year old athletes, wanting to play the game but don't have a future professionally. The money could give them a stipend but mostly go into retirement funds they can choose to access when their 4 years of eligibility are up. Also, the revenues could create a Trust for the teams themselves, separating any burden from the University itself (in theory) and helping to fund athletic activities that aren't done as for-profit enterprises.

    At least then we could watch NCAA Football and Basketball without the hypocrisy that is currently served alongside.
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    Re: Should college students be able to unionize?

    They are students, thus they are consumers. Let's say a couple of consumers of the service of a mechanic shop demanded that they get payment for the shop being graced with their magnificent presence? The shop would tell them to take a hike. Especially if they received parts and service for free. College ids just another business.
    Um...yeah.

    What happens when you walk into a shop and you tear your ACL doing what they asked you to?

    You're going to get paid, and it's not going to matter how much store credit they gave you.
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    Re: Should college students be able to unionize?

    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    Shouldn't English Majors receiving scholarships be allowed to unionize? How about Gender Studies majors?
    If you believe that English majors bring loads of money into the school by writing beatnik poetry and having coffeehouse readings which are televised to the nation, then sure, their intellect, labor and dramatic talent is being used to enrich the school and they're not getting an equitable cut from their work. Same with wymym's studies majors - I know that many a bored Saturday afternoon I'm in the mood to watch a bunch of feminist harridans lecture a tv audience with feminist theory and recite a bunch of mindless boilerplate. Hoo-boy that's good entertainment and if these harridans are enriching their school with TV contracts and revenues from concerts and speaking tours, then they're entitled to get a cut of all those millions that they're bringing into the school.

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    Re: Should college students be able to unionize?

    I don't think they should be able to unionize as they shouldn't be treated as employees. However, I do think they should be given medical coverage for injuries incurred while playing their designated sport (similar to the VA model), the license to market their likeness as they see fit, and stricter rules placed upon how many practices they can participate in while wearing pads (football specific). NFL players, once the season starts, do not practice with pads on at all. This is to minimize injury. According to the SEC Network's Greg McElroy Colin Cowherd Audio - ESPN, he practiced almost every practice with pads on no matter the time of season.

    All that being said, college athletes should not be compensated monetarily for playing. They receive a scholarship which, as many of you know that have attended college, is hugely expensive. If a player does not receive a scholarship, then that athlete is participating in that sport of his/her own free will and therefore doesn't deserve a salary of any sort IMO. What these kids at NW don't understand is that they may have ruined college sports for a lot of people. Football and men's basketball are the only solvent sports in college athletics. Very rarely is the program that has something besides one or both of those sports earning money for the college or even earning enough to support itself. All women's sports, olympic sports, etc are supported by these two sports. That's the model that has been presented and it has worked for a long time.

    So what if universities make a lot of money? Guess what, a lot of that money goes back into the college and builds new buildings, gets better educational tools, better dorms, provides scholarships for sports that don't turn a profit, etc, etc. Yeah, you've got the occasional egregious example like the Ohio State AD receiving a $18k bonus for a 140lb wrestler winning the NCAA's Ohio State athletic director gets $18,000 bonus for wrestler’s national title | For The Win However, for the most part, that money goes towards the school.
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    Re: Should college students be able to unionize?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joby View Post
    Um...yeah.

    What happens when you walk into a shop and you tear your ACL doing what they asked you to?
    You chose to do what they told you to do knowing itwas dangerous, you didn't have to.

    People that hurt themselves doing hobbies are responsible for their injuries.

    You're going to get paid, and it's not going to matter how much store credit they gave you.
    So a student can sue the school, still don't think they are forced to play.
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    Re: Should college students be able to unionize?

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    Yes. They aren't asking for cash, they are asking for their medical bills to be covered and for their schoolwork to be respected. How are those bad things? These schools are earning millions of the backs of these kids who are putting their bodies on the line; the least these schools could do is pay for the medical bills and make sure they have adequate time to study.
    Yeah that sounds right, especially since they are being forced to play football and forced to not study.

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    Re: Should college students be able to unionize?

    Quote Originally Posted by Del Zeppnile View Post
    Yeah that sounds right, especially since they are being forced to play football and forced to not study.
    How about that, something you and I can agree on.
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    Re: Should college students be able to unionize?

    Quote Originally Posted by Del Zeppnile View Post
    Yeah that sounds right, especially since they are being forced to play football and forced to not study.
    Doesn't matter if it's voluntary, the school sanctions it and makes money off of it. They should be liable for the medical bills associated it the activity.
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    Re: Should college students be able to unionize?

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    Doesn't matter if it's voluntary, the school sanctions it and makes money off of it. They should be liable for the medical bills associated it the activity.
    Aren't they? I really don't know.

    What I do know is that while we're all familiar with the Bama/name-your-team football players who start or have been redshirted and will start next year, there are many players who aren't on full scholarship.

    I also know that all the larger football programs have tutoring services--very often the university's grad students in various fields--for the players too, and very often, this is a 24-hour-a-day service. There are Academic All-Americans, but many football players are there to play/be drafted rather than to complete a degree. Because their eligibility is at stake, the program sees to it that every academic opportunity is offered to them.

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