Columnists, Sports

Fish and Chipps: Back to the future

It’s Sunday, and all is well in America.

The sun is shining. It’s a beautiful day. The Sunday newspaper is on the kitchen counter, and the 9 a.m. SportsCenter is keeping you up to date on all the college football action that took place the day before.

But something seems different to you. You can’t put your finger on it, but something is wrong here.

Something about these college athletes isn’t right. Why are they talking about college players’ contracts and signing bonuses? Why are college athletes being paid on a weekly basis? Did the communist regime of Mark Emmert and the NCAA crumble to pieces?

Then it hits you, “I’m in the future!”

Okay, so now you’re in the future, but you’re still lost.

“Wait a second, why are college athletes being treated like royalty and getting paid for it,” you say to yourself.

Now your Dad is looking at you funny.

“Son, this is why I wanted you to become a football player,” he says to you laughingly. “You don’t even have to play to earn a paycheck. Baseball was never your calling card anyways. You could never hit the curveball.”

Woah! What? College football players are getting paid? The future is awesome!

Indeed, Emmert and his conspirators of the biggest monopoly since the Standard Oil Company have fallen to the masses of athletes who have been the servants to a system that has failed student-athletes for years.

“What the hell happened,” you say to yourself.

Well my friend let me explain (insert Morgan Freeman’s voice).

It took over 100 years, but a group of players finally realized that their talents were being exploited by the NCAA and wanted to reap the benefits and promotion of their respected schools that they rightfully deserved.

On March 26, 2014 the National Labor Relations Board ruled that scholarship football players on the Northwestern University football team are in fact employees of the university and have the right to unionize if they choose to do so.

Led by former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, the College Athletes Players Association was founded. CAPA, as it as often referred, is a labor organization established to assert college athletes’ status as employees with the right to collectively bargain for basic protections.

Colter is one of the many collegiate athletes who were fed up with the NCAA and their exploitation of the student-athletes they represent.

After years of court battles, lawsuits, and millions of dollars leaving the pockets of the NCAA and entering the pockets of former athletes trying to reclaim lost income from their college days, Emmert and his company of conspirators lost their power and fell to the unified college athletes.

Once the communist regime collapsed, a democratic system was set in place that allows student-athletes on scholarship to receive monthly stipends, medical coverage, and trust funds that keep student-athletes pushing towards a more meaningful education.

Now you’re at a loss for words. The future is brighter than you could’ve ever imagined.

You feel a sense of relief knowing that the Jedi will prevail, the Sith (Mark Emmert) will be destroyed, and balance will be returned to the galaxy.

Now lets jump back to the present.

So we’re not quite there yet, but last Friday, college athletics took a major step in the right direction when scholarship players on the Northwestern football team voted on unionizing.

If the Northwestern football team votes in favor of unionizing, all that we have ever known of the NCAA will cease to exist.

Although it will take several months before we know the decision of the Northwestern football team, the fact that it has already reached this point is a major win for college athletics, and a huge loss for the NCAA.

The longest running problem with college athletics is that the players, the major entity in this battle, have never had a unified voice to fight against the NCAA.

But with Northwestern’s push to unionize, we’ve officially gotten one step closer to forever changing college athletics and ending the longstanding era of dictatorship in college sports.

I’ve criticized the NCAA countless times for the way they’ve conducted business and distorted college athletics. That’s not my goal.

My job is to observe and comment. I observe injustice, and I comment on the people who play a part of the system.

Ultimately, I want what is fair for the athletes that make college sports such an enjoyable part of my life.

This isn’t the columnist Isaac Chipps speaking. This is the guy who loves college sports more than life itself.

If we take a minute to realize what the central issue really is here, you’ll understand that the status quo needs to change, and we need to rise above it.

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