Friday, March 13, 2015

A faculty coalition joins the drum beat for paid Division One athletes.

Here's their press release:

National Faculty Coalition Formed To Work With College Profit Athletes on Civil & Human Rights 

Issues Embargoed Until: Thursday, March 12, 2015 (1:00pm)

Philadelphia, PA - - College Athletes Rights and Empowerment Faculty Coalition (CARE-FC) is a national coalition of faculty concerned with the academic and economic mistreatment of college athletes in the profit sports of football and basketball. The mission of CARE-FC is to support college athletes in their quest to fundamentally change the existing college sport industry by recognizing they are employees who deserve protections afforded such status. CARE-FC asserts the path to the transformation of college sport rests with the athletes themselves, and that the athletes have the capacity to lead the enterprise into the 21st century in a way that is stronger and more viable than ever. Such a model would be absent the hypocrisies unworthy of the higher educational institutions that serve as the promoters and sponsors of the multi-billion dollar college sport entertainment industry in which profit-athletes work. CARE-FC will work with college football and basketball players who seek relief from the fraudulent business practices used by college sport organizations, which rob them of basic civil rights to be compensated for their labor, work in a safe environment, be protected when injuries beset them as a result of the work they do, and be treated with human dignity. CARE-FC is targeting its efforts in four areas: ¾ Developing relationships with the National College Players Association, the College Athlete Players Association, player unions and associations and other like-minded entities, and concerned faculty; ¾ Educating public policy makers and legislators about the realities of exploitative practices of the current college sport industry; ¾ Creating awareness around the disproportionate negative impact that college sport business practices have on college athletes in the racial minority; and, ¾ Opposing efforts which seek to allow college sport entities to be “reformed” in ways that do not result in justice and fairness for athletes whose labor generates revenue for their institutions, the NCAA, conferences, and the corporations that invest in college sport. College Athletes Rights & Empowerment Faculty Coalition ARE-FC co-founder Richard M. Southall (Associate Professor, University of South Carolina) comments, “These college athletes’ employment circumstances are constrained in a manner that would shock most American workers. However, this reality has been obscured by the NCAA and member universities’ decades-long strategy of re-classifying and re-branding this employeremployee relationship as an education-based avocational pursuit.” Transformative change can only come when athletes have an association that represents their interests, unencumbered by the conflicts of interests that exist within the current college sport power structure. CARE-FC co-founder Ellen J. Staurowsky (Professor, Drexel University) notes, “College athletes do not just need a seat at the table, they need a base of support that levels the playing field, and protects their basic civil and human rights. As faculty, we stand with and in support of current and former college athletes in their efforts to achieve those goals.” For more information, go to or contact one of these people: Co-Founder: Ellen J. Staurowsky, Ed.D., Professor, Drexel University, 215-895-6714, Co-Founder: Richard Southall, Ed.D., Director, College Sport Research Institute, University of South Carolina, 901-240-7197 (cell); 803-777-5550 (office); Member: Billy Hawkins, Ph.D., Professor, University of Georgia, 706-255-8312 (cell); 706- 542-4427 (office), Member: Kadie Otto, Associate Professor, Western Carolina University, 828-227-3548 (office);

The first one out of the box was the NLRB's regional director in Chicago who, last year, found that Northwestern University's football players are employees entitled to form a union.

Next, a federal trial court in California rules in favor of former UCLA basketball star O'Bannon and a class of former and current D-1 athletes in their anti-trust lawsuit to win control of their own images in such things as licensed video games.

Then, early this year, a former D-1 athlete named Sackos sued the NCAA and all D-1 schools in a class action under the FLSA, seeking unpaid minimum wages.

What a year ago may have seemed like a fluke now begins to look like an irresistible wave that could sweep away the age-old student-athlete system.

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