NLRB Ruling Scores Winner for College Athletes

NLRB Ruling Scores Winner for College Athletes

Northwestern players won the right to unionize! Few would expect a conservative paper to publish a pro-union article. This article is not meant to endorse unions or their bullying tactics that drive up the cost of labor. However, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) ruling in favor of the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) is a win for free markets.

The NLRB ruled that the Northwestern players are employees of the university, and therefore, they have the right to form a union. College players have long been undercompensated for their performance, and by defining them as employees, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) can no longer hide under the guise of ‘student-athlete.’

Colleges have been taking advantage of athletic players in basketball and football for generations. Hiding behind the guise of ‘amateurism’, Colleges collectively have earned billions from athletics revenue. While coaches are signing multi-million dollar contracts, players receive a maximum of a ‘free education.’

Arguments that student-athletes are student’s first is a farce. They are students as long as they are athletes. College officials will do nearly everything to hand degrees to players as long as they perform well on the field. It does not work the other way around.

This is a great first step in recognizing that college athletes have the right to be compensated based on market forces instead of the dictates of the NCAA. While it is highly unlikely that college sports will ever break free from the hold of the NCAA, this ruling opens the way for players to be compensated greater than just ‘free education’. Sooner or later, the market will prevail.