GVSU President and football coach react to ruling paving the way for student athlete unionization
Thomas Haas thethornapple.com
Patrick Center March 31, 2014 | WGVU “The model can really shift.”
That’s Dr. Thomas Haas he’s the Chair of the Division II Presidents Council.
“In Division I you might have schools that opt to say, ‘Well, no longer am I going to offer scholarships.’ No longer are we going to have the collegiate model, per se. And I think at the end of the day the students themselves would lose opportunities to compete whether at the highest levels of their sport in Division I or for that matter in Division II and Division III.”
“I’m not sure for the student athlete they’ve completely thought through the unionization process,” explains Matt Mitchell.
Mitchell is in his fifth year as head football coach at Grand Valley State University. He says athletes treated as employees would need to pay taxes on earnings. However, as the cost of education rises and major Division I football and basketball programs make money off their players, Mitchell thinks the NCAA should consider stipends. He tells us a full scholarship only covers room, board, tuition and books.
“A small stipend I don’t think would hurt the overall product and not put us in this bind of making them professionals. When you got to the union end of things that’s professionalizing and you’re becoming a professional employee. We could still maintain our amateur status, which I’m all for with the NCAA, and just give the kids a little bit more because again, it’s a slap in the face a little bit for some of these student athletes when they see the amount of money that’s being pulled in.”
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