Kain Colter

Report: Northwestern football players take first step towards unionization

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This doesn’t have anything to do with basketball, or even basketball players, but according to a report from Tom Farrey, a reporter for ESPN.com’s Outside The Lines, Northwestern football players have filed the paperwork to request to be represented by a union.

In other words, they are formally requesting to be identified as employees.

Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, filed the petition on behalf of the players on the team.

Some more details, from Farrey:

The formal entity that would represent the players, if certified by the NLRB, is called the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA). It was created by Huma, [Kain] Colter and Luke Bonner, a former U-Mass basketball player and brother of NBA player Matt Bonner, with technical support from the United Steelworkers, who will not receive union dues from players, said Huma, who is registered as president of the organization.


Huma said the goals of the CAPA is the same as the NCPA. The group has pressed for better concussion and other medical protections, and for scholarships to cover the full cost of attendance.

Having already successfully advocated for the creation of multi-year scholarships, it now would like those scholarships to be guaranteed even if a player is no longer able to continue for injury or medical reasons. The group has also called for a trust fund that players could tap into after their NCAA eligibility expires to finish schooling or be rewarded for finishing schooling.

If the name Kain Colter sounds familiar, it’s because he was one of the first players to write #APU — All Players United — on his wristbands during a game.

It will be interesting to see where this leads, as the outcome could end up heavily affecting all collegiate athletes, not just football players. One of the biggest criticisms of the NCAA is that the talent — the athletes on the court and on the field — that is generating the revenue aren’t receiving adequate reimbursement and that they don’t have enough representation to properly make a push for change.

Sun Belt approves new scheduling format

Sun Belt Conference
Sun Belt Conference
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With an 11-member setup the Sun Belt Conference has played a 20-game conference schedule the last couple of years, which may be seen as a positive when it comes to determining the regular season champion (home-and-home between every team). But for a conference that spans from North Carolina (Appalachian State) to Texas (UT-Arlington, Texas State) travel was far from easy in that setup.

And with Coastal Carolina joining next season, it was clear that the league needed to do something with its scheduling.

Thursday the Sun Belt members approved an 18-game conference schedule, which will begin with the 2016-17 season when the league consists of 12 members. Included in the agreement is the assignment of travel partners (similar to setups in the Pac-12 and Ivy League), and teams playing no more than three consecutive conference games on the road.

Schools will also be guaranteed at least five weekend home games during conference play, and there will be no more weekends in which teams play conference games both home and away (thus cutting down on travel). Obviously with the addition of Coastal Carolina the Sun Belt needed to make some changes in their scheduling, and this week the conference made the moves they needed to make.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.

h/t ShockerHoops.net