, Muskogee, OK


April 24, 2014

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — NCAA athletes need union rights

With 15 minutes of fame, you can work wonders, like the Shabazz rule. After Connecticut won the men’s basketball national title game, their star, Shabazz Napier, was interviewed on national TV. He said he often went to bed hungry because he couldn’t afford food.

So, as a result of the bad publicity and the threat of college players forming a labor union, the NCAA Legislative Council took action. The council decided that athletes, walk-ons, and those on scholarship can receive unlimited meals and snacks, along with their participation in athletics. Student-athletes have been limited to three meals a day or a food stipend.

Just think what could be accomplished with a players’ union collectively bargaining. Players could get a salary just like the other college employees, have their health care guaranteed long after they are injured on the job, and receive a share of millions from rights to televise their games.

But, Oklahoma college athletes will only have a union with the support of David Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma and Burns Hargis, president of Oklahoma State University.

Being labor union members, as lawyers in the bar association, Boren and Hargis should obey their consciences instead of rich meatheads on their boards of regents.



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