The NCAA, along with the press and advertising agencies, uses TV, radio, phone applications and social media to influence a certain way of thinking.
While the Northwestern decision will probably not change college football as we know it today, it could stimulate a reasoned discussion on the contributions of college athletes to the revenue generated by football and basketball.
It was one of those very special weeks in SportsWorld. At least three things stood out: two in baseball and one in the bizarre world of the NCAA. It...
What we need is truth in packaging and promotion. What we also need is a system that puts the concerns of all of those who participate in college sports first.
The reasoning that Northwestern football players are more revenue-generating employees than they are student-athletes is not surprising.
We want to believe that when we are watching college sports that we are seeing amateurs competing for the joy of competition and the love of the game. But, as we examined things more closely we got a different picture that caused us to modify our view and might also change public opinion somewhat.
The whole interview was an embarrassment, from his insistence that recent changes have nothing to do with the unionization effort, to his pathetic claim that many universities would just go to Division III sports if unions became a reality.
Not once did Jim Nance mention that Jordan Spieth should have stayed at the University of Texas. Apparently Jim Nance didn't know that Spieth was a "one and a half and done," leaving in the middle of his second year.
What would happen to big-revenue college sports -- football and men's basketball -- if the athletes did not have to be students at the same time? What if they received a voucher that entitled them to four or five years of higher education when they completed their athletic careers?
What if a coach's potential athletic incentives were tied to the team's APR or graduation rate benchmarks?
So instead of simply denouncing unionization, the NCAA should address the underlying concerns and present a plan for compensating athletes with more than just sweat-suits and athletic shoes.
The NCAA sells and wants college athletes to be a team everywhere except in a room where they can talk about the issues they care about. The truth is that they do not want a team that demands a response from a system that makes millions from their play.
What is really at stake in this new world is how to redefine the intercollegiate athletic enterprise outside the outdated parameters of such archaic terms as "student athlete." Unless that happens, the continuing regime of corruption, decay, and commercial greed will render the entire enterprise a total and complete farce.
Even if the players turn down the union -- and that is a significant possibility since half of all elections result in a "no" majority -- they have achieved a great deal.
There has been a raging debate about the "one-and-done" players -- the group of basketball players that attends college for a single year, essentially biding their time until they become eligible for the NBA draft.
If the NCAA is smart, they'll come to the table and do whatever it takes to avoid a union. If they're not smart, it could be the end of college athletics as we know it. Your move, NCAA.