When news broke last week that the National Labor Relations Board of Chicago ruled that the Northwestern football team could unionize, everyone knew the shock waves would be felt immediately. When a ruling comes down that threatens the beast that is the NCAA, things are going to get rocky. All the connected schools that profit from the current system and their corporate partners were put on notice that things are going to change going forward. This ruling gives Northwestern players the power to negotiate as a group, which scares the hell out of the powers that be. It also opens the gates for more teams to do the same thing that the Wildcats have done.
One of the powers granted to a union is to file grievances in order to get something they desire as a group, in this case as a team. Everyone knows that eventually they are going to file a grievance to get a salary but that is a long process. So they are starting with smaller grievances, and their first issue they want addressed is the halftime during games. In true union fashion, they need a longer break. They feel like they need a full 90 minute rest between the first and second half. To quote one Wildcat tight end, “I like taking naps whenever possible and 90 minutes would be just right for a power nap. I see city workers taking two hour breaks all over town and they are in a union, so why can’t we do it?”
There are more grievances on the way according to former QB, Kain Colter, who got this union ball rolling. Colter told us, “We have a lot of guys that get banged up during the season so we need more people rotating in and out of games. We are going to seek 40 more scholarship players so we only have to play about 50% of the plays in each game. We need time to chill out, you know?”
Colter admitted that a few players were getting carried away with the grievances. He said that free access to marijuana was an issue high on the priority list of the newly formed union. He had to inform the union members that even unions could not use illegal drugs, especially for free. Mr. Colter was embarrassed to tell us about the strangest grievance, which was brought up by an outside linebacker. “The guy wanted us to have conjugal visits in the locker room before practices. I had to make it clear that we were in a union, not prison”, Colter stated.