The National Labor Relations Board in Chicago declares Northwestern University's football players "employees," under federal law, and authorizes them to hold a union election.
There will be a lot more legal wrangling on this issue before it becomes a reality, though:
"While we respect the NLRB process and the regional director's opinion, we disagree with it. Northwestern believes strongly that our student-athletes are not employees, but students. Unionization and collective bargaining are not the appropriate methods to address the concerns raised by student-athletes.
"Northwestern plans to appeal today's decision to the full National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. The University will continue to explore all of its legal options in regard to this issue."
Tweet of the Morning
Gotta love Kentucky 🏀 pic.twitter.com/qj9B8CR61q— Molleigh Hammer (@molleighkate) March 27, 2014
Okay, for today, we'll consider Louisville part of Kentucky. I say we should move the state line out to Hurstbourne Lane.
- Kentucky has little experience on the defensive side of the ball other than at the safety spot.
Bleed blue? Prove it.
Fear factor in the Louisville game? Not for me. I don't fear Louisville, or anyone else. This team has already met my re-calibrated expectations, so we're in bonus territory for that. Still, I expect Kentucky to win because of three main reasons: 1) Because Kentucky. 2) Kentucky has better players, now playing as a team. 3) Because I think this team is now hungrier than Louisville, who has already won a title recently.
Has Kentucky underachieved? Yes, in some ways, and if they don't beat Louisville, we'll hear that again. But one thing the teams of the last two years has taught me is that, while talent can overcome some of the learning curve, the rest of it is still daunting.
The Louisville Loon (aka Dennis Berman) of the Wall Street Journal strikes again, and he's sweating bullets. But this was a truly surprising admission:
During the Louisville-Kentucky Final Four matchup in 2012, I was on a joyous roll as Louisville advanced against expectations. Back then, I wondered in a Journal column: "Where do we find the most joy as fans? Does it come from our teams' absolute achievements—championship or bust? Or is it all relative, when they perform beyond what we anticipate?"
That column ended with a swipe at UK, saying that we should pity its fans because they did not know the "joy of the struggle" of Louisville's overachievers. Winning, I wrote, brought only a "pinch of relief."
Here's the odd thing: I'm starting to know just what that pinch feels like. Maybe over these last three years, we Louisville and Kentucky fans have more in common than we ever knew.
Curiously apt, from a Louisville fan. Well, I guess they can't all be spiteful race-baiters all the time.
Coach Orlando Antigua to USF? Could be. I'd really hate to lose him, though.
Other Kentucky sports
Guess who's up next for UK Hoops? Baylor. Yes, they don't have Brittney Griner anymore, but they still have Odyssey Sims.
- All eyes on Johnny Manziel's pro day. He reminds me of Fran Tarkenton with a better arm.
Roll Bama Roll asks if you would trade a championship in one sport for one in another (i.e. football for basketball, etc.) I just have one question — does cheerleading count? If so, then, yes, by all means. We have plenty of those to spare.
This is a pro and con about leaving early. Consider this:
"They should stay, get a degree and learn how to work": 36 percent of 2013 college grads work in a job that doesn't require a degree right now (that's from CNN). Are you going to tell me that if you were faced with the option of skipping a degree and being paid $54 million over three years versus staying all four years, accumulating large amounts of debt and having to end up moving back home and working a job that has nothing to do with your major or skill, you'd choose the latter? You're lying.
The "large amount of debt" thing is a red herring — hello? Scholarship! But still, the point remains valid even without that.
Other sports news
Over the past five months, we have been privileged to witness the profound transformation of New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis from a raw, gangly and gifted youngster into a polished professional on the cusp of transcendent greatness.
And while it's perplexing that the league's basketball operations department, which determines these things, hasn't in the last two weeks named Davis the Western Conference player of the week, there'll be more opportunities for that accolade in the future.
Guess they fear the brow, too.