The times are they a changin’?
Has it taken the COVID-19 pandemic to wake up student-athletes and transform some of them into a group that realizes student-athletes have been abused for decades? Student-athletes have told the Pac 12 and the Southeast Conference that if they are to play football and other sports this year, they have conditions that need to be met. In the past, colleges and universities along with Barack Obama’s National Labor Relations Board have crushed student-athlete movements. But some states have empowered student-athletes by allowing them to sell their faces to marketing partners and make some money off of their images. This has not sat well with the college bosses, the schools’ presidents, chancellors, board of trustees, athletic directors and coaches. After all these highly sports skilled teenagers and 20-somethings should know their place. In football and basketball, these student-athletes have to devote themselves to a sport, maybe go to class and accept the fact that they are entitled to an almost full scholarship but their real worth is in the school or conference or NCAA’s ability to sell them collectively as television programming and use them as models for some company looking to expand a brand using the players to sell merchandise or sneakers. The stars of the college sports show do not get paid and in America that has been perfectly acceptable since the NCAA was formed as the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States on March 31st, 1906.
COVID-19 is on the minds of the Pac-12 Conference football players. The players want strict health and safety procedures enforced if they are to play football. They want to put an end to coaches getting multi-million-dollar deals and share money with all student-athletes. They want medical coverage but not every student-athlete is on board. After all there is football to be played and the Lords of College Sports are counting on that.