Hello and welcome back to the wonderful world of the Dogpound. I just came across an article that stated that college football players on scholarship want to join a union. Not sure why, but the football players at Northwestern University have cleared their first major hurdle with the National Labor Relations Board. The Board recently determined that the players are employees and thus eligible to vote in a union election. The players’ case is largely hinged on the argument that an athletic scholarship constitutes a form of payment in exchange for work...playing football for the university. With that being said we go a short way into the future where we join a Northwestern football game in progress.
First announcer: “Northwestern made no gain on that play, Jim. They are now looking at a long third down with five minutes left in the game and down 14 points.”
Second announcer: “Right John, they are going to have to hustle up to the line to get the next play off. Whoa! Wait a minute. It looks like there is a union manual on the field. Yes, the union representative has just tossed the book onto the field to contest something the coach has done.”
First announcer: “Let’s go down to Connie on the field to find out what this grievance is all about.”
Connie: “Hi guys. I just talked with Jenkins, Northwestern’s number one running back, and he said that the union contract clearly states he gets 10 carries per half. He has had only three this half and the coach just called for another pass play. Back to you, Jim.”
First announcer: “Thanks for that clarification Connie. Jenkins does have a contract point but with the team down 14 points they need to score quickly, so I can understand the coach’s position.”
Second announcer: “Jim, sorry to interrupt but there has been another book thrown on the field. The coach has thrown the HR manual onto the field requesting for an independent arbitrator.”
First announcer: “Connie, what is going on down there?”
Connie: “Jim, the Coach is furious. He claims that Jenkins was out most of the third quarter with a leg cramp which negates the binding agreement of 10 carries per half.”
First announcer: “Thank you Connie for that insight. As you can see John, the main line referee, the union representative, and Human Resources Manager are all huddled around the review booth to determine if Jenkins indeed spent more than half of his time during the third quarter nursing a leg cramp thus negating the contract ruling.”
Second announcer: “Here they come, Jim. Let’s listen to the ruling.” Bzzzt! “After further review, union grievance Section 26, Article 3 issued on behalf of Number 23 has been declared void due to spending too much time on the bench with a physical injury. Number 23 has used his last union grievance challenge for the game. Still Northwestern’s ball…third down.”
First announcer: “Well, John that only took 10 minutes to resolve. A lot faster than the last one in the first half when the quarterback filed a grievance for being sacked twice in one quarter.”
Second announcer: “You are correct, Jim. Welcome to the new world of unionized college football, and as a reminder to you viewers, we have an interesting interview with the field and track union representative at the end of this game, where we explore their efforts to shorten the mile run to just three-fourths of a mile.”
There you go. I have reached the maximum number of words my contract allows me to type in one night. As always be good, play safe and remember it is just a game.
JR and Max