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The football team at Northwestern has been given the green light to organize a union. The argument is that the college is making money from the football team in the millions and the students should share in that money.

The college/universities are providing a scholarship for four years. These have a value between ,000 and ,000 based on the school. The courts have ruled that the students are employees of the schools. This opens the door for the students to pay taxes on their scholarships plus other tax related issues. There is a conflict with the NCAA rules on paying student athletes to play. They would lose their amateur status.

The question is how the schools will react and more important, how the donors to the schools will react. Most of the big money donors are from the corporate world. If these corporate donors see a dramatic change in college sports to a confrontational environment, they may back off on their donations. If this happens, the colleges can do a number of things. Increase tuitions or drop scholarships, increase the ticket prices. This could impact all school sports programs.

The most important question is How will the fans react? When union issues begin to impact the games, the fans will stay home. If the sports programs don t pay their way, the school will consider dropping the sport. If the media (TV) see no value in televising the games, this will hit the schools in the pocket. Again, the colleges will be forced to increase tuitions even more.

This can have unintended consequences far beyond the football program. I hope wiser heads will prevail in this situation.

Donald Dunlap

Irondale AL


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