Mizzou Links, 3-27-14: Unions for college athletes and a doubleheader split for softball

The Beef

Northwestern athletes are granted the right to form a union if they so choose, "newcomers" will be the watchword for Mizzou Hoops in 2014-15, and Mizzou Softball splits a doubleheader in St. Louis (and Ehren Earleywine is NOT impressed).

1. NLRB

So Northwestern players now have the option of unionizing (after about 138 appeals are through) ... this means nothing in the short term, but it could mean an incredible amount in the long term. The definition of "student-athlete" has needed updating for a couple of decades (well, a few decades, really), and since the NCAA has fought any such evolution tooth-and-nail, others are now trying to change it for them, for better or worse.

SB Nation: College athletes win first battle in labor union movement
New York Times: College Players Granted Right to Form Union
SI.com (Campus Union): National Labor Relations Board rules in favor of Northwestern football players attempting to unionize
Post-Dispatch: NLRB ruling could clear path for college athletes union
Sippin' on Purple: The NCAA released a statement on the NLRB ruling, and it is hilariously, excessively wrong
SB Nation: Former college player proposes new NCAA rules, but no union?
The Trib: Former Missouri WR T.J. Moe goes deep on college football unionization

And if you only read one piece...

SI.com (Andy Staples): Northwestern ruling sends clear message: NCAA, it's time to negotiate

So what should the schools and NCAA do? Do they fight until the bitter end and watch their system get demolished? Or do they do what they should have done years ago and collectively bargain with the athletes? At this point, Huma's group isn't asking for players to receive a salary. "The parties at the table that matter are the NCAA, the schools and us," Huma said. "And none of us are talking about salaries."

The CAPA wants schools to be allowed to pay the full cost of attendance if they can afford it. The current NCAA-mandated "full ride" comes up a few thousand dollars short at most schools. The wealthy conferences and NCAA president Mark Emmert have tried to push through stipends only to be blocked by less wealthy conferences. The CAPA wants players to receive lifetime medical care for injuries sustained playing for a school. The CAPA would like to see some money placed in trust that players could access only after they receive their degrees. [...]

No one on the CAPA or the O'Bannon plaintiffs' side will talk hard numbers -- why would they? -- but the leaders of college sports probably could negotiate a package that would stop all this. A settlement would keep the coaches and ADs rich. It would allow schools to keep subsidizing non-revenue sports and providing free educations for athletes other than football and men's basketball players. (Also known as the ones who bring in all the money.) Meanwhile, the players would get a little more -- but not so much that things change too dramatically. Amateurism can be whatever the schools say it is. All they have to do is change the rules to allow the schools that run their sports like a business to compensate their employees a little better.

2. Hoops

MUtigers.com: Basketball Awards Banquet Set For April 16
The Missourian: Wait till next year: A look ahead for Missouri men's basketball

Joining Biedscheid in the rotation could be the two freshmen Haith has signed, forward Jakeenan Gant and guard Namon Wright. Gant, a four-star recruit from Springfield, Ga., won the state’s Mr. Basketball award and will compete with Jones and Williams for playing time. The 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward chose Missouri over Indiana, Marquette, Syracuse and others. Wright, a four-star shooting guard from Los Angeles, chose Missouri over Arizona State, Florida State and Oregon, among others. If Brown and Clarkson leave, Wright will likely start immediately. If they stay, Wright will be an intriguing option off the bench.

All of Missouri’s scholarships for next season are occupied. If a player declares for the NBA draft or decides to leave the program, an extra grant becomes free. One name to keep an eye on in that case is Ahmed Hill. Missouri pursued the 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Augusta, Ga., but Hill committed to Marquette. Recent developments have caused Hill to waver. Coach Buzz Williams left Marquette for Virginia Tech last week. Hill announced Tuesday that the status of his commitment depends on who Marquette hires to replace Williams. If Hill reopens his recruitment and Missouri has a scholarship to give, the Tigers could be a major contender for the guard.

3. Draft talk

Block Talk Radio / Mocking the Draft: 2014 NFL Draft news and pro day roundup 03/26 by Mocking the Draft

New Sports Internet Radio with Mocking the Draft on BlogTalkRadio

4. A mixed bag of #stubble

MUtigers.com: No. 16 Mizzou Splits Doubleheader vs. Illinois
The Trib: MU softball coach embarrassed by team's split with Illinois
The Missourian: No. 16 Missouri softball not satisfied after splitting doubleheader with Illinois

5. Better than running in the red...

The Trib: MU athletic department runs in the black

6. CREEPY (and Mizzou related!)

Detroit Free Press: Download and print Tigers masks: Be your favorite player

7. WHATNOT

Baseball at Busch
MUtigers.com: Student Tickets to Busch Stadium Discounted

Whoops
Post-Dispatch: MU wrestling staffer arrested for public intoxication

Swimming & Diving
MUtigers.com: Tiger Men Set for 2014 NCAA Championships

Track & Field
MUtigers.com: Tigers Take On a Two-Meet Weekend in Texas

Women's Golf
MUtigers.com: Tigers Take on Mountain View Collegiate

8. A million times, yes

SB Nation: How to talk about college basketball on TV

9. "badfart"

The Verge: Farts and f-bombs: see the hidden jokes in Microsoft's early code

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