Michigan views college athletes as Wal-Mart employees


Ronald Reagan and Henry Ford are having a great smile up in Heaven today.

The Republican-controlled Michigan legislature won a victory for college sports’ plutocracy—athletic directors and NCAA administrators, who never catch any breaks in life—by passing a bill denying student athletes the right to unionize.

Surely acting as a proxy for their national GOP kin, the Mitten State’s lame duck lawmakers declared that such a powerful body as student athletes—some of whom can barely afford to pay the true cost of college despite a ‘full ride,’ are sometimes plucked from godawful poverty and family circumstance and remain on a free or reduced ride totally at the whim of a well-compensated coach—must make due without the right to organize their labor freely.

What heroes those Republicans are. What noblemen. They’ve tamed labor in a cosmic closing of the full circle those rabble-rousers began under Ford’s terroristic reign sage guidance.

“The discussion of this issue really begs an answer to the bigger question: What is the intended purpose of college?” asked chief union smasher Michigan state Representative Al Pscholka, who introduced the bill. His name totally does not sound like some shitty Polish meat/carb/root vegetable combo your grandmother brought home and left out for five hours after Mass. “Is it about making money, or is it about getting an education? Are student-athletes to learn, guaranteeing the best shot at future success in life? Or are they enrolled as employees just there to pull in money and attention to the university?”

Fuckin’ A, P-Hound. Fuckin’ A.

Kids attend college to get an education, an endeavor completely separated from making money. Why, in a world where people with college educations out-earn their high school diploma-winning counterparts by seven-figures, making money and education are about as related as virgin birth and a ham sandwich.

Of course student-athletes are there to learn. That’s why they never enroll in junk classes for the express purpose of staying eligible on Saturdays. That’s why they always attend institutions commensurate with their scholastic abilities upon completion of totally legit high school educations. That’s why so many of the most talented continue their educations even after professional leagues attempt to draft and sign them exactly six months into their college careers.

And, as you’ve made entirely clear with this bill, no, they’re not “enrolled as employees just there to pull in money and attention to the university.” No seven- or six- (how do they eat?) figure coach or administrator ever recruits them specifically to help fill a stadium with paying customers every week , or to be showcased on TV for a school which makes $44.5 million per year on the arrangement.

The players certainly aren’t the key cogs in a spectator sports cartel organization that signed an $11 billion deal to televise its postseason basketball tournament for the next decade.

No, those students are there to learn. Those admins and coaches are all be-mortarboard-ed, scholarly saints who pluck these young fellows from their humble hometowns to give them a shot at a grand education. They’d never need to negotiate wages or protections like medical care or ongoing educational expenses through a union. A group of old millionaires and almost-theres surely have their best interests at heart. They’d probably already have these athlete’s problems dealt with if they weren’t actively, aggressively dealing with the rampant rare instances of on-campus rape in their midst.

Al, I want to write you one of those cheesy old Real Men of Genius ads, because you, like Reagan before you in his time as a paid on-camera spokesman for GE, taught these idiot laborers a thing or two about how much capital loves them.

You really stuck up for the little guy.