Work unions are very common in all sorts of fields, from factory labor unions to professional groups, it is very common for a common workforce to have a group of representatives acting on their behalf. Professional sports have been doing this for years, with groups like the NBA and NFL Player’s Associations advocating for a more player-friendly landscape.
Over the years these groups have made many strides towards shifting rules to help players both financially and socially have more control over their careers. Now the benefits of union representation will be extended onto collegiate athletes as well.
This past Tuesday was the official launching of the College Football Players Association, an organization that will help make college sports more player-friendly. The move comes fresh off the heels of the new NIL laws that will allow college athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness. As well as a reform on transfer rules that will give college players the opportunity to transfer 1 time in their careers without needing to sit out for an entire season.
The founder of the new player’s organization, Jason Stahl, said that he began this new venture too, “make sure that college football players are finally organized to have a collective voice in the decision-making within their sport”. Rhetoric that until now always seemed more political rather than genuine when coming from NCAA officials.
"In the summer of 2020 college football players called for the creation of a CFBPA while returning to play in the midst of a pandemic,'' Explained Stahl, "Today, that dream becomes reality.”
The College Football Player’s Association or CFPA will look to begin recruiting members right away. Different membership plans will be offered. Current players will pay a fee of $24 a month, while high school players and past college players will pay $12 and $50 a month respectively. The parents of athletes can also gain membership by paying $20 per month, which is a unique adaptation for this player’s association.
The formation of the CFPA comes as a culmination of several efforts to help give players more of a voice in matters that concern them. The United College Athlete Advocates(UCAA) have created an online forum for players to discuss different issues and make their opinions heard. At the federal level, Senators Bernie Sanders and Chris Murphy have proposed legislation that would allow for the CFPA to engage in collective bargaining negotiations with the NCAA. A luxury that only professional athletes have so far been able to participate in.
Efforts have been made in the past to help form coalitions for athletes in school but they have routinely been shot down. But in this new world, one where athletes have more options for themselves, and therefore more leverage, players have finally been awarded the representation they have always longed for.
Currently, the association only includes Football players, their families, and alumni, but eventually, the hope of the players is for athletes of all sports to gain more say in TV deals, group endorsements, and official licensing agreements.