Professors Form Coalition to Fight for College Athletes’ Labor Rights

Mar 19, 2015

Professors Form Coalition to Fight for College Athletes’ Labor Rights

Last week, a group of university faculty members announced the formation of the College Athletes Rights and Empowerment Faculty Coalition (CARE-FC) – a national coalition reportedly dedicated to fighting for the labor rights of college basketball and football players.  The coalition’s formation comes in the wake of National Labor Relations Board (the Board) Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr’s March 26, 2014 decision in which he found that scholarship football players are employees who have the right to unionize.  (As expected, Northwestern appealed that decision, and we continue to eagerly await the full Board’s ruling.)

Co-founded by Ellen Staurowsky and Richard Southall, in a March 12, 2015 press release, the group explained that the “mission of CARE-FC is to support college athletes in their quest to fundamentally change the existing college sport industry by recognizing they are employees who deserve protections afforded such status.”  In an effort to help effectuate this change, the coalition identified “four areas” in which it intends to target its efforts: “Developing relationships with the National College Players Association, the College Athlete Players Association, player unions and associations and other like-minded entities, and concerned faculty;” “Educating public policy makers and legislators about the realities of exploitative practices of the current college sport industry;” “Creating awareness around the disproportionate negative impact that college sport business practices have on college athletes in the racial minority;” and “Opposing efforts which seek to allow college sport entities to be ‘reformed’ in ways that do not result in justice and fairness for athletes whose labor generates revenue for their institutions, the NCAA, conferences, and the corporations that invest in college sport.”

According to ‘The Signatories’ link on the group’s website (, there are presently 35 signatories to the coalition.  This is nearly double the number of signatories since the March 12 announcement of the coalition’s formation.

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