“Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Vote No.”
According to The New York Times, that’s the message that Northwestern is sending to its football players, who vote Friday on whether to form a union. While the University and its boosters are not doing anything improper in expressing their anti-union views, many of the arguments that they are advancing are nonsense. Free agency in professional sports and allowing professionals in the Olympics were both met with similar objections that they would ruin the purity of the sport. Instead, they made both sports better for the fans and fairer to the athletes. The same would be true if the Northwestern players vote yes. If nothing else, that would force the NCAA to start getting serious about making reforms.
I’ll add one other note. Students on campuses around the country protest on behalf of many causes here and abroad when they feel that people are being exploited. When it comes to football and basketball players on their own campuses, though, you don’t hear anything. I guess that cuts too close to home.