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Train’s A Comin’ – Part II

April 9, 2014

Back when I wrote this post,, the Northwestern case was still being mulled about in the courts and now that the courts have spoken for now those players are allowed to unionize.  Granted, the NCAA has said that it will appeal and apparently Ohio is in the process of creating a law that says athletes are not employees, so it is not quite a settled matter.   It appears that we are a step closer to the day when college athletes (at least football and likely basketball players) will get paid.

I don’t think this will have a huge impact on the teams in the upper strata of college football but it will have a huge impact on schools like Eastern.  Eastern already supports it’s football program from the general fund and adding another expense will make that even worse.  The number I heard mentioned was $2000 per player which would mean another $200,000 expense.  As I said before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think the Regents will be able to stomach that number which will force them to make a decision.

Now, I suspect that not all divisions are going to pay their players nor will all schools but that will be one more reason for an athlete to choose another school over Eastern.  This will further separate the haves from the have nots.   I’m still not sure what the impact on college football will be but I do know it will look different.  Will this mean the end of Eastern football?  Probably not, but it will probably mean the end of Division 1A Football at Eastern.

Since I'm required by law to include a picture

Since I’m required by law to include a picture

In other thoughts…..

I am liking what I am seeing coming out of the Creighton era.  I’m not sure if Ron English did that sort of outreach program but I think it is a good thing for the program.  It may not pay immediate dividends but I think it will create long term fans of the Eastern Michigan football team.  I don’t care where the football player is from but I would imagine a kid would think it’s pretty cool to have one read to him.  One of the things Coach Creighton said at one of the basketball games and I’m probably paraphrasing but it makes sense was, “We expect the community to support us…is it too much to support the community in return?”.  That is not a phrase that you normally hear out of a coach.

I’m not happy about the thought of losing Jalen Ross and Darrell Combs but I wish them the best wherever they end up.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. EMU Prof permalink
    April 9, 2014 11:48 am

    Raven Lee?

    • Ken permalink
      April 9, 2014 11:55 am

      sorry…meant Jalen Ross. Not enough coffee yet…:)

  2. Grady permalink
    April 9, 2014 12:21 pm

    Yes, the new coach understood what the old coach did not; community building is essential to EMU building from the ground up. Old timers will tell you that is part of the reason they still feel a connection because of their involvement from the late ’70-80s when the program was in worse shape than now.

    English had a “this stuff is beneath me” mentality from being at bigger schools. Thus when things went sour for him he had no grass roots support.

    There are so few of us out there that feel connected to the program; the new coach is breaking down walls – good for him

    • Ken permalink
      April 9, 2014 1:18 pm

      Well, you don’t build a fan base overnight. Even though I’m an alumnus, up until the point where I started to take pictures for this blog, I never really felt a connection to the sports teams. I would follow them but the connection never really gelled. It’s much better and to the point where I actually care.

      The thing I like about this is that it’s not often that you hear about a coach speaking about supporting the community in return. And in the long run, I think that will pay dividends.

  3. Kenneth Barna permalink
    April 9, 2014 2:46 pm

    Dear Ken,
    I have to disagree about players being paid. I’ve read much about what Northwestern player leaders were concerned about, as well as watching a short interview with some of them.
    What it boils down to right now, is the concern over injuries, and who is going to pay for treatment and rehabilitation after their playing days are over. Now, that does not mean that in the future, if the union becomes fact, that further compensation may be sought. Going back to the injury situation, I’m sure schools would be looking at insurance policies that would cover these kinds of costs. There may even be a way to work this with the Affordable Care Act.

    • Ken permalink
      April 9, 2014 2:53 pm

      I know that the Northwestern players weren’t interested in pay but I think this opens the door to that.

    • Block E permalink
      April 9, 2014 3:22 pm

      As a public institution in the State of Michigan, EMU is probably not going to have to worry about a players’ union. I can already count three or four barriers to unionizing, and three very large obstacles against using a union effectively.

    • Ken permalink
      April 9, 2014 4:21 pm

      The case I should have paid attention to or read about was not the unionization case. Or even the likeness case. Apparently, there is another case where a group of athletes is suing their respective universities for back pay. They are claiming that the NCAA is in effect forming a trust by limiting player compensation to just a scholarship. This is probably the case I was thinking of…but didn’t realize it.

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