Flexing the Economic Weapons in Reserve
The stage is set.
Five minutes until the Citrus Bowl kick off.
The Tigers and Cardinals just went into the locker room after completing their pre-game warm ups.
The opening kick-off clock winds down: 01:30….00:59…00:30…00:19…00:05.
But the crowd begins to mutter in a state of befuddlement, wondering where the players are. The announcers, in a similar state of confusion, speculate that perhaps the game is being delayed due to terrorist threats.
From their luxury suite, the Chairman and President of the Citrus Bowl look at each other and exclaim, “Where are they?!”
The rest of the Executive Committee joins in, “Those kids better get on the damn field!” … “Who do they think they are?” … “Someone call down to the locker room,” someone shouted.
The kick-off clock strikes 00:00.
The drunken crowd begins to boo.
ABC cuts to a commercial.
An assistant from the luxury suite yells to the pissed off suits, “Gentlemen, I was just informed that the Tigers and Cardinals are boycotting the game and they do not intend to take the field.”
“What in the Sam Hill?” a member of the Board of Directors exclaims.
“Shit! We were warned this could happen. We are going to lose a lot of money. How do we get them on the field?” someone asks.
“Call Mark Emmert,” another person yells.
“We are going to have to cut a deal with the players,” someone mumbles.
“F**k no!” someone else says, “They work for us!”
The assistant pipes back up, “Gentlemen, we’ve received this letter,” as he begins to read it aloud:
To Whom It May Concern:
Please be advised that we are united in force and we do not intend to play today’s game until the following demands are met.
First, you accept and acknowledge the National College Players Association (NCPA) as the official organization and representative for all college athletes. Prior to the start of the 2018 athletic season, the NCAA and the NCPA will negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that provides for, among other things, future health benefits for all athletes, increased and guaranteed four-year scholarships, and unrestricted transfer rights.
Second, fifty percent of all revenue earned from all bowl games and March Madness Tournaments will be distributed to the NCPA, for the benefit of the players, which will be held in a trust to establish a health and benefits fund for all current, future and former college athletes.
Third and finally, the NCAA will eliminate all restrictions that prohibit college athletes from generating revenue based on their names and likeness.
If these demands are not met, this game and the rest of the scheduled bowl games — including the playoffs — will be canceled.
We look forward to working with you.
On behalf of All The Athletes
“HAHAHA,” one of the executives laughs. “Are they out of their f*****g minds?”
“We are not negotiating with them. They are student-athletes, not employees, and they have no rights!”
The players never took the field and the game was cancelled. As promised, the rest of the players refused to take the field for all remaining bowl games.
The NCAA, the conferences, networks and advertisers lost billions of dollars. Numerous class action lawsuits were filed against the NCAA, et al., by fans seeking reimbursement for tickets and travel expenses.
Similarly, the networks sued the NCAA and the conferences for billions of dollars in damages — and won.
All told, the NCAA went bankrupt, and the antiquated organization dissolved.
A new organization was formed that committed itself to protecting the health and safety of college athletes while also embracing the economics of modern college athletics. The NCPA and the new organization entered into its first ever collective bargaining agreement that provided valuable rights for all college athletes.
College athletics flourished in innumerable ways that benefitted both the institutions and the athletes.
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