The unionization of college “student athletes” is an excellent idea for both labor and management. Please consider these prospects for a CBA (collective bargaining agreement). The university (management) will agree to extend to selected “student athletes” a full tuition, four-year scholarship, room and board, medical insurance, even a modest stipend to cover expenses.
Labor, read again “student athletes,” agrees to participate fully and abide by all team rules of the sport for which they have been selected. Labor further agrees to attend regular classes sufficient to qualify as a full time student, maintain at least a grade of “C” in each class, follow all rules and regulations governing regularly enrolled students, and achieve at least a bachelors degree in a chosen discipline at said college or university.
The duration of this contract shall be not less than the number of years, usually four, of NCAA athletic eligibility. Failure of any individual governed by this CBA to complete said obligations shall result in repayment to the institution, either by a drafting professional sports franchise or the individual “student athlete,” all monies and resulting costs incurred by management in carrying out this contract in good faith.
Everybody wins! The “one-and-dones” can still leave early if they somehow guarantee the return of the college’s investment. The LeBron Jameses of the world can still join the NBA and skip the college contract at their own peril. The public will get to see far better spectacles and actually learn the names of their college hero before they bolt for a pro franchise. Finally, the “student athlete” will have a college degree to fall back upon, just in case that pro pie-in-the-sky goes “splat” on the ground. Let the bargaining begin!