We oppose the effort to bring labor unions into college sports. One group of athletes is not more hardworking, more dedicated or more driven than another. Unionization will create unequal treatment not only among student-athletes competing in different sports, but, quite possibly, even among student-athletes on the same team.
Our concerns about this movement extend beyond the economic and practical difficulties created by transforming the college-sports relationship into one of employer-employee. To call student-athletes employees is an affront to those players who are taking full advantage of the opportunity to get an education.
Do we really want to signal to society and high-school students that making money is the reason to come play a sport in college, as opposed to getting an education that will provide lifetime benefits? The NCAA’s philosophy, proven by where the organization spends its money, is education first. More than 90% of NCAA revenue is redistributed to member schools, which provide $2.7 billion in athletics scholarships in addition to other direct support to student-athletes. Most member schools depend on this revenue, as only 23 out of 1,100 generated more money than they spent on athletics in the past fiscal year.