Today was a landmark ruling in Chicago concerning the possible formation of a college athlete's players union and I am really not sure what to say about it. I am not a lawyer or well versed at all in employment law, but I do know that it was a significant step, but not the final step as this will undoubtedly go before several more courts before all is said and done.
The key points seem to be increased player safety and academics reforms, as Jason Kirk explained earlier today in his post at the mothership. This, I can get behind. These are men putting their future livelihoods on the line by playing football. It is not a naked grab for cash as some thought it might be, and by putting in the healthcare provisions it does more to acknowledge the risks (cough CONCUSSIONS cough) that come with playing football than the NFL has done.
If you want to read about the details the article linked above does a great job of explaining things. What I agree with is that these players are employees, at least in some sense of the word, and they are compensated. Their scholarship and all the fees they receive are invaluable when it comes to their futures because the vast majority of players are not going to the NFL. Getting to come out of college debt-free instead of paying off student loans like so many students have to do definitely sounds like compensation to me.
That scholarship comes as a direct result of them playing football for their respective schools. Because they do receive compensation I can see why they are seeking some more perks like the extended player safety and such.
We'll see where it goes from this, but because of the inevitable legal process that needs to finish I don't think we'll see any immediate changes.