Northwestern Football Players Lobbying for Union; Paying Athletes to Follow?

College athletics have gotten a bad rap lately. Okay, so maybe it’s not completely unjustified, but the NCAA has been criticized heavily for its utilization of athletes and not paying them any of the millions of dollars that they generate. The Northwestern Wildcats are trying to start a revolution in college football, today, with the players of the team lobbying for unionization.

What do I mean by this? Well, there is a union called the College Athletes Players Association — or CAPA — and that is the group that Northwestern players are looking to join. Northwestern QB Kain Colter is spearheading this movement by Wildcats players and it looks like it is close to happening.

The Northwestern players and CAPA will have to wait for the union to be recognized by the NCAA in order for it to represent the players — and at that point, all D1 men’s basketball and football in private schools will be eligible to join.

Although CAPA’s goal at the moment isn’t to obtain pay for players, it is trying to guarantee a better system to regulate safety in college football and it also protects scholarships of athletes who are injured and can no longer continue their playing careers.

So what does that mean for paying athletes? Well, this is just the first step into the world of paying college athletes. Once a union is established with athletes, that turns the athletes from “student-athlete” to “employee” and that’s just a common thing to offer to an employee — money.

Although I’m opposed to paying athletes, I do think the union is great for these players because it will ensure their safety and correct medical precautions.

The NCAA is expected to oppose such action by the Northwestern players, but it could be a step in the “pay to play” direction.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at

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