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NCAA’s Emmert on unionization: ‘grossly inappropriate solution’

ARLINGTON TX - APRIL 06:  NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks mediduring press conference AT T Stadium April 6 2014

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 06: NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks to the media during a press conference at AT&T Stadium on April 6, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Updated: April 6, 2014 4:50PM

ARLINGTON, Texas—NCAA President Mark Emmert reiterated in his press conference Sunday morning that he is not in favor of the unionization of college athletes.

“The notion of using a union-employee model to address the challenges that do exist in intercollegiate athletics is something that strikes most people as a grossly inappropriate solution to the problem,” Emmert said.

And while Emmert took a largely obstructionist view to the College Athletes Players Association’s movement to organize Northwestern’s football team into a union, he was in agreement with some of the issues they are trying to bring to the forefront.

And in some cases, even took their ideas a step further.

Among the many issues that CAPA raises, the organization is trying to advocate for the guarantee of a four-year scholarship. While it is currently optional, many institutions do not.

Previously, universities were allowed to offer only one-year renewable tenders. In 2011, it was made optional for schools to offer four-year tenders. Since then, Northwestern has exercised that option.

“One of the very aggressive debates that will go on under the new governance model is whether or not it should be mandatory that it be a multi-year commitment,” Emmert said.

“Moving toward a model, especially at the high resource institutions, that the scholarship is really committed for a bachelor’s degree, is a great idea. I love the notion of saying that this scholarship should be until you finish your bachelor’s degree.”


Twitter: @SethGruen

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