Ahead of today’s vote at Northwestern, the actions of proponents of the NCAA’s indefensible status quo were predictable:
The president emeritus publicly said that a vote for the union could mean the end of Division I sports at Northwestern. A former quarterback visited the team to encourage players to vote no. Coach Pat Fitzgerald, a former football star who is revered on campus, has framed a vote for the union as a personal betrayal.
“Understand that by voting to have a union, you would be transferring your trust from those you know — me, your coaches and the administrators here — to what you don’t know — a third party who may or may not have the team’s best interests in mind,” Fitzgerald wrote to the team in an email.
And don’t kid yourself: the people and organizations reaping huge amounts of money off of your unpaid, physically taxing labor, and yet impose extraordinary rules that prevent you from even being compensated by third parties, totally have only your interests at heart.
In an entirely unrelated note, Pat Fitzgerald is currently working under a 10 year contract paying him nearly $2 million a year. Oddly, the Noble Ideals of Amateurism do not forbid him from being paid for endorsements.