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Hungry college athletes

Register • Apr 30, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Friday’s vote by scholarship players on the Northwestern University football team to unionize and be recognized and possibly paid as designated employees probably did not cause any concern for Ohio’s No. 1 employee.


Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and his yearly $4.2 million salary shouldn't be worried as three weeks ago today a measure approved by the Ohio House threw a key block for Coach Meyer.

That’s right. Two weeks after the Chicago district office of the National Labor Relations Board said football players at Northwestern University could vote to unionize, the Ohio House sacked the attempt of any forward passing by college athletes unionizing in Ohio by sending to the Ohio Senate a measure that outlines why they believe college athletes aren’t and should not be considered public employees.

Even though the State of Ohio controls policy at The Ohio State University because it’s a public school, they’re not going to take any chances and hope to avoid what happened at the private school of Northwestern University where Federal labor law, if voted in, can apply.


According to The Associated Press, federal data shows Ohio State’s athletic department generated $123 million in revenue last year making it the sixth highest in the country. Could it be they do not want to share any of that profit with Brutus Buckeye?

After all, this is The Ohio State University, where athletic director Gene Smith received an $18,448 bonus, one week of his base salary, when Monroeville High School alum and current OSU junior Logan Stieber won his third NCAA wrestling championship last month.

Perhaps Stieber, to capitalize on his OSU success, should do what the winner of this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby will eventually do — hire himself out for stud service.

Northwestern is appealing the ruling of the Chicago NLRB, meaning the results of Friday’s vote will remain sealed until the home office of the NLRB in Washington issues its decision. This, like choosing a new Sandusky city manager, could take months.

Lawyers versus lawyers, Part I — The class action antitrust lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association challenging the NCAA’s use of player names, images and likenesses on video games and broadcasting games without player’s permission goes to trial on June 9 and could end up re-distributing billions of dollars in media revenues.

Hmmm…. I wonder what a student athlete would do with their share of the money?

Probably play NCAA College Football 14 while watching College Football Daily on ESPNU.

Lawyers versus lawyers, Part II — That is just one of many antitrust class action lawsuits against the NCAA that are trying to compensate college athletes.

Two of the more notable lawsuits are the one filed against caps on scholarship amounts and the other questioning the NCAA amateurism rules.


No litigation for college cheerleaders, marching bands and team mascots to reward them their piece of the NCAA pie?

Wait for it...

I’m sure one day soon the Buckeye marching band will do a Script “Lawsuit” with Brutus Buckeye doting the ‘i’ while the cheerleaders chant “O- S- SUE”

The Ohio House measure also means that even though people pay to watch junior high and high school sports the athletes participating in those sports are not public employees.

Oh well, it wouldn’t be the first time a seventh grader made more money than me.

In light of University of Connecticut’s winning this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, guard Shabazz Napier said:

“I don’t feel studentathletes should get hundreds of thousands of dollars, but like I said, there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I’m starving”

The NCAA’s Board of Directors reacting to that statement approved a rule change the day before the vote by Northwestern scholarship football players last Friday that allows Division I athletes to receive unlimited meals and snacks.

The new regulations go beyond the previous policy that limited scholarship athletes to three meals per day or a stipend for food.

It’s a start.

What our elected officials in Columbus need to do instead of passing measures against college athletes is to start passing measures to help college athletes.

I’m sure my first idea of dressing all the college head coaches in Ohio in NASCAR style jumpsuits advertising all the fast food restaurants to help feed and offset the cost of providing unlimited meals and snacks for the student athlete wouldn’t pass and probably conflict with most coaches clothing deals.

The Ohio General Assembly should pass legislation that requires the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, PGA, LPGA, PBA and all the other pro sports leagues that entertain customers in the Buckeye state to pay a performance tax that will fund the extra amenities young adults playing sports in Ohio college’s need.

After all, the college and universities in Ohio, along with their athletes, are the “minor leagues” for most professional sports.

(Insert your own Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers or Indians joke here).

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