Friday, March 28, 2014

Gators move on! But, can you imagine college teams being unionized?

I don't have much to say as this newest weekend begins.  It is the last weekend in March and we can only hope the new month beginning next Tuesday will allow Spring to actually spring.

79 to 68.  And the Florida Gators move into the Elite Eight with a good win over UCLA in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA National Basketball Tourney Thursday night.  I didn't stay up to watch the late game, but, naturally, I was happy to be up early Friday morning to read about it.  I'm not sure it's a good thing, though, that the Dayton Flyers whipped Stanford to also reach the round of eight Saturday.  The Flyers have been upsetting some big, much higher ranked teams in this Tourney heading now to a showdown with the #1 Gators Saturday evening beginning shortly after six o'clock.  Unlike the Thursday late night start, I'll be able to see the game Saturday.

Go Gators!

In another sports development, there's a disturbing situation that is developing at Northwestern University.  The school's football team has been granted the right to form a union for players by an NLRB panel.  The board official hearing the case says there is ample proof that football players are in reality employees of a university and thus, as employees, have the right to unionized and negotiate working conditions.  That, of course, includes pay to play.

Citing the number of hours that football players must devote to their sport along with the scholarship and other incentives granted them by the school along with the amount of money the sport returns to the school, the definition of being employed passes all the tests.  I'd like to point out that NU is an academic university graduating something like 97% of its football players.

I'm not going to review all the conditions as I only know what I've read, thus what the news media wants me to know, so here are just two places you can get the story.  Although each source contains much of the same material, they also offer some added or different material, too.  You can read the news stories here:

CNN News and The Washington Post.

I'm sure you can find many, many more.  Both stories do say that Northwestern will appeal the ruling to the full National Labor Relations Board.

If this ruling stands, and it probably will, it will change college sports forever.  It would be a very nasty and bad change.  For many sports fans such as myself, it will ruin not only college football but also it will grow to other sports and drive them to the sewer, too.  It is just another great American institution going down the drain.  Boy, do I hope I'm terribly wrong.

Maine's gambling situation will remain as is, just two existing casinos, one in Oxford and the other in Bangor, will be battling for Mainers' money.  Six bills to allow gaming to expand before the Maine Legislature in its current session were killed this week by the senate.  Those six bills would have allowed additional gambling places, mostly the installation of slot machines, in other various venues, including Scarborough Downs Race Track.  The death knell was rung for them Thursday when the Senate declined to approve some attempted amendments to save the gaming changes.

At least one good thing has happened.  At last, a Boston team, the Patriots, have made a right decision.  The Pats signed Vince Wilfork to a three year contract.  Wilfork had asked to be traded earlier and reportedly had even cleaned out his locker.  He's one of the best defensive players in the NFL.  Unfortunately his new contract pales beside the new contract of Miguel Cabrera, the Detroit Tigers first baseman.  He's due to become the highest paid player in Major League history.

Sort of hints as to where college sports could be heading, doesn't it?

Have a super weekend.


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