The NCAA wants to bust a union before it ever gets formed.
NCAA president Mark Emmert voiced strong opposition to the unionization of college athletes at his annual state of the organization address Sunday at the Final Four.
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“To be perfectly frank, the notion of using a union employee model to address the challenges that do exist in intercollegiate athletics is something that strikes most people as a grossly inappropriate solution to the problems.
“To convert to a unionized employee model is essentially to throw away the entire collegiate model for athletics. You can't split that one in two. You're either a student at a university playing your sports or you're an employee of that university.”
The recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board granted Northwestern football players the right to form a union.
Northwestern has said it will appeal the decision, but some labor experts see the movement expanding.
Emmert was joined by Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and four university presidents, including Kansas State’s Kirk Schulz, at the news conference.
NCAA reform was the focus, primarily proposed changes that would bring additional benefits to student athletes at the larger-budget schools.
“I think there's a perception at times that we're asleep at the switch,” Schulz said. "I think most of the membership recognizes we're at a fork in the road and some of these things must change and we need to do it rapidly.”