Throughout its unionization proceedings, Northwestern has specifically stated on numerous occasions that the NCAA is not and should not be a party to its case, presumably because being tied to the NCAA doesn't exactly strengthen your legal position. The NCAA has even agreed, since it has enough lawsuits to worry about already.
However, when the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., invited the public to send in briefs with their opinions on the regional decision to allow athletes to unionize, the NCAA couldn't help itself.
NCAA files brief supporting Northwestern’s appeal of union ruling: http://t.co/vghrTK8sy3— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) July 3, 2014
It's almost Independence Day, right? Why not celebrate free speech!
Actually, that was part of their PR pitch. Like America? Well dammit, you should LOVE the collegiate model.
Maintaining the collegiate model of athletics, which is uniquely American, is crucial to preserving an environment where participation in sports is properly integrated into the total educational experience and plays an appropriate role in relation to the students' academic development.
There's more about how athletes unionizing would ruin the educations of athletes and normal students, without any explanation for why that would happen, and more of the same arguments we're used to hearing. But the lack of substance isn't the biggest issue here — it's that in this day and age, an endorsement from the NCAA is not all that helpful.
Just like it wasn't the last time they tried doing something like this.