Count Fresno State Athletic Director Thomas Boeh among those against the idea of a unionized work force of college athletes.
Boeh said gender-equity issues and a change in tenor at campuses are among the concerns if Northwestern football players and others in big-revenue college sports are allowed to gain union certification. He said all student athletes must be treated fairly and equitably, both in the spirit and under specifics of federal Title IX legislation.
The goal of the College Athletes Players Association is to represent only football and men's basketball players at the NCAA's top level, although a spokesman said it may expand to include athletes in other sports.
But even if all athletes were included, Boeh cautioned about what might be lost.
"The day that college athletics evolves into an employer-employee relationship with student athletes, then we've lost our way," Boeh said. "The relationship between a university and student athletes should be (about) providing an education and support while those student athletes use athletics to grow personally, athletically, physically, emotionally. For all student athletes, not just the small group of elite athletes who participate in highly visible sports.
"I know it gets lost when so much money moves around with TV contracts and coaching contracts. But for the most part, every institution that has a higher mission strives to educate their student athletes, and you don't want to lose sight of the education aspect."
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