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SBD/September 27, 2013/Colleges
Players' Movement Against NCAA Could Be Growing, Even As Some Coaches Question It
Published September 27, 2013
SENDING THE WRONG MESSAGE? YAHOO SPORTS' Pat Forde, in addressing how Fitzgerald and GT coach Paul Johnson both thought players protesting should have asked team officials, wrote, "I don't like the way either man has handled the small and utterly benign 'APU' statements." The protest was "limited but significant." It was the "first organized, in-game athlete dissent I can remember on the collegiate level." It "did not disrupt the competition in any way," but the movement may have been "squashed at two elite academic schools that should value critical thinking." If the movement spreads "to other campuses, other coaches will have to deal with it as well -- and their reactions may well mirror the men at Northwestern and Georgia Tech." This is a topic that "makes everyone in authority positions in college sports nervous" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/25). ESPN's Trevor Matich noted university presidents "need to make sure that you are in control of how enumeration is increased towards student-athletes because the minute you allow some lawyer to get some definition to be made in a court allowing them to say these are employees, then all of a sudden the work situation of college football players will be defined by federal labor law." That "could be a huge problem" ("College Football Live," ESPN2, 9/25). In South Bend, Eric Hansen writes the campaign is "mostly symbolic at this point, too small and scattered to qualify as a movement," but the "potential is there to make big waves" (SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, 9/27).
OTHER PLAYERS SUPPORT INITIATIVE: In Denver, John Henderson reports Univ. of Colorado players "won't write APU on their wristbands when they play at Oregon State on Saturday." Some were "unaware of what happened last weekend," but many "believe they should have more say in what the NCAA does." CU QB Connor Wood said of the notion, "I absolutely think so. The decisions they make directly affect us. We should have a voice more than we do now" (DENVER POST, 9/27).