March 28, 2014 |
University officials and the NCAA have been reluctant to acknowledge that top-tier college football programs are run these days less as athletic programs than as businesses. But a labor administrator's decision Wednesday that Northwestern University's scholarship football players are, in fact, employees with the right to unionize should get their attention. This issue has been bubbling for decades as major sports programs evolved from important but ancillary parts of a college's mission into powerful businesses enriched by multimillion-dollar TV contracts and merchandising revenue, all built on the labor of student-athletes who received no compensation beyond scholarships.
March 6, 2014 |
Running back Jacob Knight and offensive lineman Isaiah Giddens helped Crenshaw win the City Section Division I championship in football this past season, but each also worked hard in the classroom. And they've been rewarded with academic scholarships to Fisk University in Tennessee. Fisk doesn't have a football team, so the football days are over for Knight and Giddens, but because they were dedicated in their studies, they will have the opportunity to go to college. Knight was an All-City running back who's played football most of his life.
February 20, 2014 |
Northwestern doesn't profit from its football team. In fact, the program actually loses money for the university. That's what Steven Green, chief financial officer for the athletics department, said Thursday while on the stand at a National Labor Relations Board hearing in Chicago to determine whether or not Northwestern football players should be allowed to unionize. A day earlier, Southern Utah University sports economist David Berri had testified on behalf of the newly formed College Athletes Players Assn., which is pushing the unionization bid with support from United Steelworkers.
January 31, 2014 |
How odd is it that the two contenders in the Super Bowl -- the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos -- hail from the two states in the Union that have legalized sale and use of marijuana? Are there two activities more different than the amped-up aggression of professional football and the laid-back mellowness of smoking a joint? I've got nothing against Denver -- a perfectly fine city, as far as I'm concerned. But, as many of my readers know, I am a Seattle boy. My great-grandparents arrived in the muddy little town on the shore of Puget Sound in the 1880s.
January 29, 2014 |
To the parents of the newly born Cyndee Leigh 12th Mann: Be prepared for your daughter to hate you. Just as soon as she understands the English language enough to realize that not only did you stick her with a number as a middle name, but also that you based it on a football team. Welcome to the world, Cydnee Leigh 12th Mann. And yes, 12th really is her middle name. #SEAbestfans pic.twitter.com/Ab3WljjEZ0 - KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) January 28, 2014 Actually, not even a football team, but the fans of a football team who somehow think they affect the outcome of the games enough to call themselves the "12th Man. " (News flash: It's the stadium that makes you so loud.
January 28, 2014 |
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Most NFL players require years to hone their football skills and become pros. Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas needed one season of college football. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Thomas played basketball for four seasons at Portland State, then joined the school's football team and ended up being selected in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL draft. Three years later, he's preparing for the Super Bowl. "This isn't something that I imagined doing when I was 20 years old, getting ready to play in the NCAA tournament," Thomas said this week.