Real quick, because a brother’s gotta run. I come from a union household. My father was a member of D.C. 37 in New York City for over 30 years. A roof overhead, clothes on the back and food on the table were all courtesy of a union job, paying a decent wage. After law school, I worked three years for the AFL-CIO, the umbrella organization for organized labor in the United States. After that, I spent 10 years as a labor lawyer for the Major League Baseball Players Association, widely considered among the most powerful unions in the country. For the past five years I have continued to work on behalf of labor, assisting labor organizations, athletes and the agents who represent them in various capacities. So no one needs to check my union card. When an NLRB regional director ruled in March 2014 that Northwestern football players were employees within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act, and therefore could unionize, I (of course) … disagreed with the decision. Union sensibilities aside, I simply could not accept that the athletic scholarships the football players received equated to wages or compensation given in exchange for working for the school. […]
“The tide is turning. … Players are going to be paid. Now whether it happens in five years or 10 or 15, I have no idea. But there’s no way we’re going to make this kind of money and never pay the players.” So said ESPN’s Jay Bilas regarding compensation for college athletes. Should college athletes be paid? What say you?