There are going to be a lot of coaches in the coming weeks and months telling us their stand on the National Labor Relations Board ruling in Chicago that Northwestern has the right to unionize.
The latest coach to speak out is Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer. He had this to say to the Columbus Dispatch about the situation:
Asked if he believes that players should be regarded as employees, Meyer replied, “I don’t feel that at all.”
“But to say (players) can go out and get their own shoe contract and things like that,” Meyer said, “I think, ‘What would that do for this great sport, and really, what would that do for college athletics?’ ”
“A quarterback can’t play college football at a high, high level at 20 hours per week,” Meyer said. “He’s got to do it on his own. I think it’s a great rule. Players, just like coaches, can decide to be great. If they’re watching the hours, punching the clock and saying, ‘I’m done at 20 hours,’ you probably have a pretty average player.
To be fair, Meyer did also say that he think players families shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for official visits and is in favor of stipends. After that though, he of course couldn’t bring himself to fully recognize the players for what they are: employees. Using the boogeyman of “what will this do to college athletics” is a weak and very vague excuse.
Of course things will change and is it any wonder that coaches, Athletic Directors, and Administrators who make enormous salaries are the ones afraid of change? Everyone is looking out for their own self interests here and it’s about time someone looked out for the players.