To the Editor:
National Football League football is over, and the next mega-sporting event is college basketball's March Madness. The end of pro football and beginning of the college basketball home stretch caused me to wonder, What if there were a collective-bargaining agreement in intercollegiate sports?
First, I'm sure student-athletes would agree to universities' and the NCAA's taking $1-billion out of the kitty and leaving the rest of the revenue to the student-athletes competing in Division I sports.
Secondly, student-athletes would likely make a bargaining issue of guaranteed postundergraduate benefits, since many student-athletes are clustered into majors because of practice and playing schedules. It is hard to get a job with a sociology degree, so $20,000 in postgraduate educational benefits for two years would be fair.
Third, for student-athletes and the NFL guys alike, insurance benefits are an ongoing issue. College athletes, especially football players, probably suffer more concussions than paid athletes. So student-athletes would likely propose that they receive health insurance for two years after their eligibility expires. Student-athletes, male and female, should also ask for health benefits for any children they have between the time they sign their scholarship form and the time they graduate.
The last bargaining point is that some playing seasons would have to be reduced, including football (by one game), men's and women's basketball (by six games), and men's baseball (by nine games). As a part of the college collective-bargaining agreement, if the NCAA and universities want to stipulate that student-athletes must graduate before they receive their revenue share, student-athletes would likely agree to that bargaining point.
Emmett L. Gill Jr.
Department of Social Work
North Carolina Central University