The Northwestern (NW) football players’ possible unionization efforts have started a snowball rolling that, despite all their legal might, the NCAA may find themselves struggling like Bullwinkle to stop. Almost immediately after the National Labor Relations Board ruled earlier this month that the scholarship football players can hold an election whether or not to unionize, Northwestern officials stated they will appeal. But last week, NW former quarterback Kain Colter and Ramogi Huma, president of the College Athletes Players Association, met behind closed doors “with an undisclosed set of legislators” in Washington.
The MSR talked to Drexel Professor Ellen Staurowsky, who has worked with Huma, a former UCLA football player, since he started the National College Players Association in 2001 as an advocacy group for giving college athletes a voice. Colter “is carrying the banner” for so many others before him that have fought for fair compensation for their work over the years, noted the professor. Continue Reading →
Mary Willingham has received death threats from social media users. She’s looked at by some with disdain. All because she decided to step forward and help bring to light what was going on at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Willingham, then a school’s academic tutor for UNC players, finally let it be known that she was the “unnamed source” for a local reporter’s investigative reporting on the school having set up fake classes, changed grades and awarded worthless degrees for football and basketball players — too many of them were Black — for at least a couple of decades. “I want to do right by them because I was part of the problem,” says Willingham during an MSR phone interview on the “hundreds” of UNC players she worked with during her seven years as a tutor. Continue Reading →
Class-action suit could affect larger issue of athlete exploitation
By Charles Hallman
An anti-trust lawsuit against the NCAA to compensate former and present college athletes for using their likenesses without
their consent is moving forward after a judge recently ordered ESPN to hand over to the plaintiffs its television and licensing contracts. Former Nebraska football player Sam Keller filed suit in 2009 against the NCAA for using former and current college players’ likenesses in archival footage, video games, photographs and promotions. Former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon later filed a class-action lawsuit, and a U.S. District Court in California joined the two cases in 2010, along with other similar claims against the NCAA, Collegiate Licensing Company and Electronic Arts, Inc.
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