clear
Thursday September 3rd, 2015 12:33AM

NCAA urges schools to discuss pitfalls of unions

By The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA contends that unionization by college athletes could lead to fewer scholarships and championships as well as a drop in academic support and career counseling.

In a set of talking points issued to school leaders late last week, college sports' largest governing body urged school leaders have a unified voice on the topic that could dramatically alter college athletics.

This document includes some traditional points of emphasis for the NCAA - that school leaders want athletes to focus on their classwork, the NCAA has liberalized rules to allow athletic departments to purchase items such as suits and members continue to work on legislation to provide money to cover the full cost-of-attendance.

But the NCAA also warned that "scholarships would be cut or eliminated. The number of championship experiences would be dramatically reduced. Smaller sports would lose funding."

It also said support services such as academic support, career counseling and tutoring could all be "cut significantly or eliminated."

"Do we really want to signal to society and high school students that making money is the reason to come play a sport in college, as opposed to getting an education, which will benefit you for a lifetime?" the NCAA memo reads. "That's not the message I want to send."

The talking points were issued as the National Labor Relations Board weighs a decision by a regional NLRB official clearing the way for football players at Northwestern to form what would be the nation's first union for college athletes. The NCAA, Big Ten Conference and Northwestern all oppose the move, and the school has appealed.

A player vote is planned on April 25 and the topic has dominated college athletics for weeks amid speculation that the effort, along with antitrust and other lawsuits against the NCAA, could change the very nature of amateur sports.

The NCAA said the talking points were provided as a guide or starting point for school officials to share their own views.

"As a membership organization, it is our responsibility to provide accurate and timely information on matters impacting college sports," spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said Monday in an email. "Our members requested facts and data on pay-for-play because there was so much misinformation in the media, based in part on public statements from those who are advancing the union movement and those who have brought suit against the NCAA."

NCAA President Mark Emmert has been a longtime opponent of a pay-for-play proposal for college athletes, repeatedly pointing out the complexity it would create for Title IX compliance and whether a starting quarterback should be "paid" more than a backup kicker or a volleyball player. Just last week at the Final Four, Emmert expressed concern about unionization, too.

This document, however, urges school leaders to join the debate by discussing other potential problems.

"While advocates of professionalizing college sports make their arguments seem simple, they're not," according to the document. "The negative impact of turning these students into paid employees would be vast."

Emmert has supported legislation that would provide money beyond the allowable limits for tuition, room and board, books and fees and a provision to give athletes access to as much food as other students on campus as well as unlimited snacks in and out of season.

This document reiterates those points.

"Our members believe in addressing some of the legitimate concerns that critics have raised, like providing the full cost of attendance - to help pay for that trip home or to grab a movie and dinner - particularly for those students with limited economic means," it said.

But overall, the NCAA is opposed to unionization and is asking school leaders to speak with a unified voice.

"Yes, we need to re-evaluate some of the current rules," the document said. "But completely throwing away a system that has helped literally millions of students over the past decade alone attend college is absolutely not the answer."
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 8 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 8 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 8 months ago )
Sports
Jackets, Mississippi St. clash in Orange Bowl
No. 10 Georgia Tech has the nation's second-ranked rushing offense. No. 8 Mississippi State has held seven of its 12 opponents under 125 yards on the ground.
5:04PM ( 8 months ago )
Ole Miss defense braces for TCU offense in Peach Bowl
Mississippi and TCU were part of the playoffs story in 2014. Each team was part of the chase. Each team fell short of the coveted semifinals.
5:01PM ( 8 months ago )
Kiffin shining again after season of redemption
Lane Kiffin was modest in his goals and complimentary about the team he'll be facing in the Sugar Bowl. He went on and on about how much he's learned from Nick Saban, while insisting it's no big deal when his boss yells at him. Very un-Kiffin-like, you might say.
11:02PM ( 8 months ago )
College Sports
Justin Thomas looks to lead Ga Tech to another big season
Justin Thomas has a bunch of new guys around him heading into Thursday night's opener...
11:03PM ( 22 hours from now )
Trojans' focus is on themselves as they open season on road
Come Friday, it will be North Hall’s chance to see if it can slow down what has so far been a dominant and punishing Jefferson ground game. But Trojans’ coach David Bishop said that’s not his team's biggest priority as it prepares to open the 2015 campaign on the road against the Dragons.
8:01PM ( 19 hours from now )
SEC's title hopes may rest on an influx of new starting QBs
The Southeastern Conference has gone two whole years without winning a national title...
11:45AM ( 11 hours from now )
Freshmen highlight volleyball season-opening victory over Toccoa Falls
A pair of freshmen stole the show in the Piedmont College volleyball season opener as the Lady Lions won 3-0 against local rival Toccoa Falls College. Setter Emily Peters led the way with 28 assists while libero Haley Hixon recorded a team-high 14 digs and six service aces.
By AccessWDUN staff
10:06PM ( 2 hours ago )
Braves swept by Marlins in 7-3 finale
The Miami Marlins rarely play well in Atlanta. Against this Braves club, Miami could do no wrong.
9:07PM ( 3 hours ago )