The College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) is a labor organization established to assert college athletes’ status as employees with the right to collectively bargain for basic protections. NFL and NBA players have formed players associations to ensure they have the ability to negotiate for fair treatment, and CAPA is working to allow college athletes to do the same.
CAPA has submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board supported by authorization cards signed by an overwhelming majority of Northwestern University football players calling for an election for CAPA to be certified as their bargaining representatives. If successful, athletes across the nation could establish a national players association that can eliminate unjust NCAA rules. Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
The Future of College Sports
NCAA policymakers who benefit monetarily from the current system will continue to use scare tactics and misinformation to argue why college athletes should be denied their rights under labor laws.
CAPA will ultimately secure basic protections for college athletes, but college sports will remain unchanged in many ways. College sports fans will continue to cheer for their favorite teams just as they always have. College athletes will still be college students, train year-round while meeting academic requirements, and give all they have for their schools. However, the NCAA will likely put forward the following false arguments:
Competitive Equity Will Be Ruined - False
The current system does not produce competitive equity. Between 2002-2011 99.3% of the top 100 football recruits in the nation chose teams in the power conferences. Historically, over 90% of football teams that finish in the top 25 rankings and over 90% of the basketball teams that make it to the Final Four are from the power conferences. Currently, the wealthiest schools hire the best coaches, have the best facilities, benefit from the biggest recruiting budgets, and sign the best recruits. In the words of SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, “Competitive equity is an illusion”.
Non-Revenue Sports Must Be Cut - False
There is over $1 billion in new TV revenue flooding NCAA sports and a portion of this can be used to provide college athletes basic protections. In addition, non-revenue sports will still exist because they have a tremendous value to each school. The existence of Division II proves this. The average Division II football and men’s basketball team generates more expenses than revenues. Football and basketball do not fund any of the other sports yet there are almost 300 Division II athletic programs with 109,000 athletes nationwide. Division II programs provide athletic scholarships, fund athletic facilities, pay for travel to games, and employ coaches. In addition, despite generating a fraction of the revenues Division I programs generate, participation in Division II has grown 140% over the last ten years.
Title IX Will Not Allow It - False
Title IX will still be the law of the land and athletic programs will still be required to comply with its requirements.
NCAA’s Definition of “Amateurism” – False
After 36 years of serving as the NCAA’s Executive Director, Walter Byers stated, “Collegiate amateurism is not a moral issue; it is an economic camouflage for monopoly practice.”
The truth is that NCAA sports will improve tremendously once college athletes secure a seat at the table. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions section for more details about the future landscape of NCAA sports.
Historic Northwestern Football Players’ Union Vote is a Win-Win
United States House Education and Workforce Committee Hearing
Response to the US House of Representative Hearing
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NLRB Opening Brief Filed 7/3/2014
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