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SBD/September 24, 2013/Colleges
Georgia Tech Players Unlikely To Wear "APU" Protest Marks Again This Week
Published September 24, 2013
START OF SOMETHING BIG? CBSSPORTS.com's Dennis Dodd noted Saturday's protest "became a national story covered by national outlets." Dodd asked, "If players from Georgia, Georgia Tech and a Northwestern quarterback are involved, who's next?" The players "talked openly and proudly of what they have created." But NCPA President Ramogi Huma stressed that the idea of a "full-on protest never moved out of the meeting room." Huma said, "What those guys did is going to inspire other guys. There is an outlet to put pressure on the NCAA to do right for its athletes." Dodd wrote Huma and the players "now have the leverage in this battle," and the players are "just now realizing their leverage." Dodd: "Just imagine players deciding to delay the start of a game by 10 minutes as a symbolic protest. That could conceivably destroy a network's precious broadcast 'window.' And that might be enough" (CBSSPORTS.com, 9/23). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "I think the NCAA will declare this illegal almost immediately and try and stop it" ("PTI," ESPN, 9/23).
UNION THE NEXT STEP? In Birmingham, Jon Solomon writes, "Amid many unanswered questions of where college sports is headed, this much seems clear: The NCPA has become the players' most unifying voice." The organization "provides the most unified group of current players." It is "still a relatively small collection of players who are speaking out, although the NCAA is no longer completely avoiding the NCPA's efforts." Huma has "played a role in the O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA over the use of college athletes' names, images and likenesses." Drake Group Exec Committee member David Ridpath, whose organization campaigns for academic integrity in college sports, said, "I think Ramogi is the one who has the way to get things done. He can get the athletes to do things" (AL.com, 9/24). ESPN's Danny Kanell noted all pro sports have player unions with "one collective voice and I think that's something that's been lacking for student-athletes." But ESPN's Jemele Hill said, "You can't protest a system that you're hugely dependent on and are a part of. Anytime we've had any significant social change in the country, it has always come through a boycott or refusing to be a part of that system" ("Numbers Never Lie," ESPN2, 9/23).