Former K-State star reacts to college athletes being allowed to unionize

Published On: Mar 26 2014 10:28:12 PM CDT
DERBY, Kan. -

The National Labor Relations Board in the Chicago district ruled in favor of Northwestern University football players who want to unionize and be considered university employees.

Former Kansas State Wildcat Brandon Clark says it's nothing new for college athletes to consider whether they should get paid for playing.

"There are a lot of hours that get put in behind the scenes," Clark says.  "We probably talked about when we were young, but we were young."

But that's what the Northwestern players asked for and got.

"The goal is to get the players a voice," former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter says.  "We don't have a voice--it's a dictatorship where everything is put on us without our input."

The players say their main concerns are medical coverage even for former players, better concussion prevention, higher graduation rates and compensation for commercial sponsorships.

Meanwhile, Clark--who is now the Derby High football coach--says college athletes get a lot of benefits as it is.

"It gave me many opportunities after college," Clark says.  "You get a degree, you get your degree paid for, you get housing, you get food."

Clark says making college athletes employees opens up a whole can of worms and would change the relationship between athletes and the school they play for.

"The NCAA is amateur athletics, and it should stay amateur athletics," he adds.

Clark expects a court to overturn the decision.