College Football Nation: Wildcat Union and Chip Kelly Surprises Us All

Jeff Hostetler FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

Things just got taken up a notch as football players attending Northwestern University were approved to move forward with their efforts to unionize.  I am glad we have had some amazing basketball to get my mind off that mess going on.  Besides the usual arrests and the Northwestern union being approved (pending appeal from the University administration), it has been a slow week.

Nonetheless, I offer:

1)  The NLRB has  ruled in favor of letting Northwestern players unionize.  Only up North would players think about forming a union to try to get a piece of the pie.  Kain Colter is the main player at Northwestern leading the charge and says he is doing it just to help protect the athletes and make sure they are taken care of … not a way for them to get paid.  Yeah, right.  We all know exactly what the union is for.

I think this should be an eye opener for the NCAA to rethink how they do things and how the players are “compensated” for their participation.  I do not think it should lead to anything serious, because it would destroy every school that is not a football powerhouse.

Northwestern’s unionizing was done by the football players, but everyone needs to realize it will stretch out to not just football players but all the way across to women’s golf and tennis players, also.  Imagine a small school like Toledo now having to “compensate” not only their football players but also their women’s soccer team.  It is going to break the bank and destroy college athletics.

People need to remember that thanks to Title IX, anything you do for men’s sports, you have to do for women’s sports.  Say you start paying the football players an extra $20,000/year, then you better believe the women’s teams are going to get it.  Most schools will not be able to afford that and athletic programs will crumble in the end.

The NCAA should step in now and just help raise the standard scholarship amount.  It will take time for the Northwestern union to be finalized because it will bounce back and forth throughout the court system, but during that time, the NCAA needs rethink its process before it all blows up in its face.

2)  On a side note, Chip Kelly has made some interesting moves this past week.  His team let go of its best wide receiver and signed a former USC QB who was on the “outs” in the NFL.  Both interesting moves, indeed — sign a QB you don’t need, cut a receiver you do need.  I’m curious about Chip’s mindset for those moves.  There are rumors of why it has been done but I would like to think that Chip just wants to win with a drama-free team as far as letting the star wide receiver go.  As for the QB move … you got me!?!?  No stars on the team should be thinking they are bigger than the team itself.  

Chip had a great Year 1 in the NFL and looks to build upon that.  He needs guys who are willing to go with the flow and not worry about “getting the ball” or “signing that next big check”!  I look forward to Year 2 and will be curious as to who he drafts out of the college ranks to help the Eagles out this season.  If De’Anthony Thomas is available to him come draft day, will he take him?  Love the way Chip runs things!

3)  After Year 1 coaching at Wisconsin for Gary Anderson, they are giving him a raise and an extension.  Guess they like what they see and want to keep him around a little while longer.  I agree with this move for Wisconsin for multiple reasons:

First, Coach Anderson won at Utah State … have you ever been there or even heard of that school until he led them to it’s first 10-win season?  Second, the guy is a former Urban Meyer assistant and that means he knows how to recruit and what it takes to compete at a top level.  Plus he will be able to throw a few curve balls at the unstoppable Ohio State Buckeyes anytime they play.

Third, he knows how to get the most out of his players.  He did it at Utah State and was able to get to an 11-win season.  At Wisconsin, they are not known for recruiting top athletes all of the time.  Look for him to turn any recruit who walks through that door into a star.  Lastly, the guy is just a good guy!  He cares about his players and will go above and beyond for them.  It’s always good to have a coach that not only views his players as players, but also sons.  I expect Wisconsin to be a constant B1G contender every year with him at the helm.  Good move, Badgers, for signing him on for a longer term!

So a slow week in the world of college football.  We still have the Final Four to entertain us for another week.  I want to give a shout out to the Oregon men’s basketball team.  They had a great season and finished strong.  Great game vs Wisconsin in the tournament.  They had Wisconsin on the ropes and almost pulled off the upset.  I expect great things out of Oregon the hardwood next year.

Until next week, college football fans!


1. Notre Dame’s new QB

2. Another Alabama victory

3. Texas A&M suspension

4. Georgia Tech improving?

5. UMASS out of MAC



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