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Union Thugs Get Greasy Hands On College Sportsball

Coming to a college stadium near you!
The National Labor Relations Board handed down a 24-page decision saying Northwestern University sportsball players are employees of the university and may form a union. Quarterback Kain Colter has been the face of the pro-unionization campaign. It’s no surprise this happened in Chicago, one of the last bastions of organized labor activity with balls.

Let’s dash any hopes of a fancy lawsplanation right away. That is the forte of Supreme Happy Nice Time Person Lawyerin’ Lisa. We are more into knee-jerk reactions to headlines and speculation based on free association tromps through terrible prejudicial caricatures that help us cope with the world (plus a dick joke, maybe).


What kind of absurd nonsense will this lead to? Well, that depends on the fiction/lore upon which you base your prejudices:

  • Several football scholarships are earmarked for mafiosi. Instead of practicing placekicks, they play cards and smoke cigars all day in the locker room and coordinate point-shaving schemes. Tensions arise when a corn-fed recruit from downstate asserts the superiority of bratwurst over hot and sweet Italians.
  • Rahm Emanuel puts pressure on the team to “play longer games,” curses at team shop steward, and refuses to grant NU any special events permits until his demands are met. (We know Northwestern is not within the city limits of Chicago; SHUT UP.)
  • The team could strike, demanding “hotter tutors.” (US Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Slippery Slope) imagines similar hypotheticals)
  • Productivity goes way down; college athletics outsourced. (I hope you like collegiate badminton.)
  • Profitability goes way down; players locked out. Keanu Reeves leads ragtag bunch of scabs with one year of NCAA eligibility to the Rose Bowl.
  • Si, se puede . . . ganar el campeonato del Big 10.
  • Some players get deep into the labor movement and deeper into the Woody Guthrie catalog.  They learn valuable lessons about sleeping around with loose women and dream of playing in the Dust Bowl.
  • Coach squanders opportunity to advance in March Madness tournament by giving shittier athletes playing time. His excuse: “Hey, they were the next ones on the bench.”

Of course, none of those silly things are going to happen. At the same time, scholarship athletes appear to be a quite privileged, so why don’t they just take their educational opportunity and special treatment and be quiet already? What has driven Kain Colter into this weird commie shit? Maybe it’s that the NCAA and its member institutions can straight up fuck you if you get hurt, and no student athletes were consulted in the crafting of that bullshit rule. Yup, Colter says, that’s it. The university is appealing the decision, and the NCAA will certainly support the appeal, for as it is written in the Higher Education Act of 1965, once your knee is busted, you are no longer deserving of educational opportunity.
[WaPo/The Atlantic/ESPN]

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