4/24/14 College Students First


I have two children that are in or already out of college.  And two more to go.

Last week I completed school visits with a daughter who is being recruited to play college sports.  This is an entirely new experience for me.

This much I know.  She’ll be a student first.  An athlete second.  And won’t be a university employee.

[But that’s the absurd opinion of the National Labor Relations Board.  By the way, whatever usefulness the NLRB may have once had disappeared decades ago.  But that’s another topic.]

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that scholarship athletes at Northwestern University qualify as employees.  And may form a union.

We all know where this is headed.  More rules, more regulations, higher costs for everyone.  You think college is expensive now?  Wait until it becomes unionized.

[Northwestern University has appealed the decision.]

[This is the 2008 campaign promise to “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”  Many of us thought this type of thinking ended when the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago.]

The NLRB ruling was more Washington craziness.  And should be struck down in the courts.  Yet, one observer cheered the ruling as social and racial justice.  He played the race card by claiming black athletes are being exploited. Said it was “worse than indentured servitude.”

Here’s the reality.

According to the Knight Commission — which is critical of college athletics — only 7 of 228 Division I college athletics programs made money or broken even for their entire athletics program.

The lucrative money we hear about with college football funds the thousands of sports teams that lose millions.  But benefit hundreds of thousands of student-athletes whose game results barely receive notice.

[David Suggs, Ph.D., who consults for the Knight Commission claims there are eight programs that made money each of the last five years.  According to Suggs, they are Louisiana State University, Pennsylvania State University, and the universities of Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas (at Austin).]

Some may view colleges as the next workers’ paradise.  But, haven’t we had enough of such collectivist thinking?

You can follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter at @BehindTheHead.
You can follow Mark on Twitter at @MarkHyman.
Join us on our Facebook page.