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Why Jim Harbaugh’s Comments About Athlete Pay Unionization During the CFP Were Such a Big Deal

Jan 12, 2024

Just a few years ago, it would have been unthinkable that a top college coach would endorse ideas like sharing revenue with athletes and allowing them to unionize. But this week, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh endorsed them and on the biggest stage in college sports.

The championship-winning coach took multiple opportunities during the College Football Playoff, including during his post-championship presser, to advocate for paying players and allowing them to unionize.

“The thing I would change about college football is to let the talent share in the ever-increasing revenues,” Harbaugh told reporters on Tuesday after winning the national title. “We’re all robbing the same train.” He went after his own benefactors, saying that the NCAA, conferences, and schools hire “armies” of “tall-building lawyers” to protect their positions against paying players. Harbaugh then endorsed athlete unionization, a concept the NCAA has opposed for years since it would require athletes to be considered employees. Harbaugh told the players sitting beside him that unionization was the next step. “There’s no voice for the student-athletes right now, and it just needs to change.”

Source: Front Office Sports

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