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How Might A Union For College Athletes Change Collegiate Sports?

How Might A College Athlete Union Change College Sports?
How Might A College Athlete Union Change College Sports?
GUESTSGangaram Singh, Ph.D., is Interim Dean for the College of Business Administration and a management professor at San Diego State University. Andrew Moscato, is Producer of the documentary "Schooled: The Price of College Sports"

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: This KPBS Midday Edition, I am Maureen Cavanaugh. SDSU minutes this week sixteen for the first time since 2011, the student athletes can cake credit for their contribution to the tenant that the recent court ruling may allow them to take away a little more, the recently sued for and run the right to bargain with their school as employees record represented by a union. Colleges are fighting the ruling sing at their student athletes are already beginning free tuition and they are not employees, the ruling is another crack in the concept underlying the national collegiate Association that student athletes are amateurs and should be unpaid, collect interest my guest's, professor Gangaram Singh and Andrew Muscato the producer of the documentary, Schooled: the price of college sports. How crucial is this decision? GANGARAM SINGH: I think this is crucial because the decision establishes that these students are employees I lost the bet at the beginning of this whole unionization drive, I bet one of my friends that the arbitrator would never decide in favor of the athletes but when I read the decision, once I read the decision I walked away convinced that they were employees and the lawyer for the players Association prelunch argued that there was what the employment contract is all about, and when we sent to next step and acceptance letter to students it's all been based on either a merit scholarship or needs based scholarship in this case the tender articulate the terms of that relationship and a lot of them had to do with not only decomposition but work schedule. It is a very thorough decision. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: But go how does this affect other schools like SDSU? GANGARAM SINGH: It depends, it depends, dated logic of the decision will still carry throughout whichever court or whatever form it is argued in, the logic of the decision also carry through and it depends on how the different adjudicator would see it that the case is made in a very methodical way as to why the students should be considered employees. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: If the players can unionize like other school employees, what does that do to this fundamental NCAA concept of the student athlete? ANDREW MOSCATO: Well, I think as the professor saying I think it's finally making people face facts that college sports have evolved over the last half-century from the time when really was an extracurricular activity to now it has become a multi-dollar industry and, I think the first thing that needs to be addressed here are athletes rights before you even get into compensation, I think that is the problem. Right as the professor is saying, I don't think they expected them to rule the day ñ the way that they did because for decades they have staved off Workmen's Comp. claims by a former football player successfully and I think now is the turning point where we have to accept the fact that the amount of hours that football players put into theirs work and the fact that they are receive a scholarship as compensation for their skills, and the scholarship can be revoked by the coach for any reason, there's a good place. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What is the argument that the present system actually violates college athlete rights? ANDREW MOSCATO: I think this is many cases in terms of the fact that athletes are not members of the NCAA, universities are members of the NCAA so many cases involving disciplinary actions were suing for academic fraud or any other sort of reason, it's usually the school disciplines and the student in the NCAA decides whether or not the school was right in their punishment so often times you have a sheer lack of due process and one football player from the University of our Carolina Chapel Hill was accused of academic fraud and there's no proof that he committed academic fraud in Henning in a plagiarized paper but you still slips to do this eligibility and had no recourse to argue his case and actually, when he spoke to administrators at the University of North Carolina the description from even talking to a in attorney to for fear that it made him look more guilty, that is just one example of how athlete rights are impaired in the system. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Do we know or have a concept of how being employees specifically could change things for college athletes? GANGARAM SINGH: Definitely, yes, what happens next if the appeal results in certification the players Association has in the exclusive bargaining agent for students or employees, then they have to negotiate, they have to negotiate terms and conditions of employment in their some mandatory issues they have to negotiate and voluntary issues, what happens at the stage now is very critical because with the University approach there is to say that I want these students to be unionized and good on these paths, or they could say the logic is there, now let's get together and largely in the United States may not America, which has an exceptional way of deciding terms and conditions of employment, at this stage what would be an appropriate route is for the union players Association and the University to come together and say what is best for all of the parties in this relationship? MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: As it stands that these schools have a pretty good deal? What would be in it for them to actually do what you're saying? GANGARAM SINGH: Healthy labor relations in everybody's best interest, if it's resisted and one party is benefiting and announcing that it is in this case, if one party is a benefiting from this relationship you're bound to have conflict in the future and so, the most appropriate outcome is to look especially in college athletics and especially in foot all where we have issues at the NFL level with player injuries and so on, if their students are there for a while and then move on in their lives and I think it would be in everybody's best interest in this case to come together and say, how to make sure that all of the parties in the universities are benefiting from it and the NCAA and ten sanctity and the athletes get something out of the relationship to to create a cooperative environment rather than one that will go down in adversarial path. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: In your documentary the price of college sports, one of the things that the documentary goes into his help big of business college sports is especially college football and men's basketball, how much money they generate for schools, I've seen different figures, what fears do you use? ANDREW MOSCATO: A number of sites around eight to win but normally we see this around 68 billion, some insight into how individual universities make was gleaned after the Penn State scandal and after the stuff happened they were docked $1 million $50 million with revenue for some of these programs you're seeing them being and fifty $200 million a year and that is from TV contracts and the other on to view network with ESPN and apparel deals with Nike and Adidas and that is what his problem came from, as the system is changing and college sports became more commercialized over the past few decades, the way athletes have been treated or looked at is still taking a root in this model created in 1950 which is no longer applicable. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: As your documentary without the reason he was created in the 1950s was because of a series of scandals involving Monday and knowledge athletes and money in college athletes and this kind of decision allowing athletes to be considered employees and almost professional athletes, what that might do to college sports. ANDREW MOSCATO: The idea of a grant made scholarship came from and the notion of creating even playing field and before then you actually had universities paying under the table money for football players and you can still hear that going on, USC was sanctioned for all of the gifts that they give to Reggie Bush and his family when his playing their but ultimately what this causes is for all of this to be done about the board, and in daylight, which is ultimately a good thing, you can start with a scholarship and if a player is worth more, maybe he can ask for more, think the other thing that people have to keep in mind is when you hear paying college athletes you think of baseball contracts, but is it simple as guaranteeing a four-year scholarship, I think people offer often mistake mistake that with a full ride, and that is often removed at the discretion of the coach or attend athletic department and even the NCAA has been sliding forward meeting with University presidents that many cases the scholarship does not cover the full cost of attendance and when these athletes can't receive additional sources of money, they're kind of stuck with making up for that $5000 short shortfall in the semester. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: You just told us how you would like to see the colleges and universities proceed along this path of units is it unionization, how you would like them to open up and be agreeable, how would you like to see the athletes proceed in getting together to ask for different things as part of the union? GANGARAM SINGH: When they came to the table they were motivated by labor relations and we refer to a stock of grievances, no they have to really come forward with those issues, and they are organized enough to get to a level where they can convince the national relations board in the initial hearing that they should be certified, that's where they should go next and they should really start thinking about what that stock is, is it a four-year scholarship? Is it health issues? Do today this military issues, off-season training, consulting these cases as they go forward with the argument in the world because they have strong leaders to do that. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: A lot of people think this case is all about money, is it? ANDREW MOSCATO: No, I think it's first just about having a this on the table for athletes and like I said, I think the S NCAA could've staved off this from happening and they conceded more in terms of the scholarship to the athletes and rights, but they didn't and they didn't have any reason to do so so now, the students have forced their hand, and by the way I think you'd be naÔve to suggest that money had anything nothing to do with it, but at the very getting it has to do with giving athletes a voice and a say in how these rules and decisions are made in college sports. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I've been speaking with Professor Singh and Andrew Moscato, thank you both very much. The epics channel is contrary but not cast the documentary this Thursday night, went into both so much.

Despite its final loss to Arizona, the San Diego State University men's basketball team had a good season.

The Aztecs made it to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 2011 and only the second time in team history.

The student-athletes can take credit for their contribution to the tournament, but a ruling last month by a National Labor Relations Board director might allow future college athletes to take away a little more.


The football players at Northwestern University recently sued for and won the right to bargain with their school as employees represented by a union. The college is appealing the ruling, saying its student-athletes are already being given free tuition — and they are not employees.

The ruling is another crack in the concept underlying the National Collegiate Athletic Association — that student-athletes should be amateurs and unpaid.