Jared Carpenter played safety at Northwestern from 2009-12. A starter in his final season, Carpenter recorded a career-high 10 tackles and was named Most Valuable Player in the Wildcats’ Gator Bowl win over Mississippi State. Carpenter is a registered investment advisor and general securities registrant with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. You can follow him on Twitter @CarpeD_em.
“…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” More insightful, courageous, and pertinent words have not been written in light of the imminent debacle of the NCAA. These words from July 4, 1776 combined with an inherent moral inclination to stand for what’s right are what have compelled me to share a more in-depth view of the issues underlying the recent controversy in college football.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 the Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Northwestern University’s football players qualify as employees of the university and therefore have the right to unionize. This decision immediately became a top story on every social media forum, on ESPN, and on many other news outlets. This issue has long been a popular topic of discussion and debate throughout the many sects of sports fans and society for years, and yet an issue brushed under the rug. Although whether or not college football players are explicitly employees has never been the verbatim dialogue of those colloquial conversations, it in fact is the fundamental underlying ideology that has driven those everyday discussions and ignited the disputes. The chicanery engineered by the NCAA is now being exposed, and despite the many efforts to preserve the facade and mitigate this attack on the systemic exploitation conducted by the NCAA, the record must be set straight. It is undeniable that college football players are employees by definition, but even further, major Division I college football players are financial assets that fuel the capitalistic system of collegiate athletics.