College notebook: Athletics trump academics, QB says in testimony

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Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter testified that he was essentially paid to play via his scholarship as the National Labor Relations Board opened a closely watched hearing on a bid to form what would be the first union for college athletes in U.S. history.

From a witnesses stand in a federal court building in Chicago, Colter characterized playing college football as a job and said schools make clear to incoming players that athletics are a higher priority than academics.

Colter, a co-founder of the newly formed College Athletes Players Association, said players adhere to grueling schedules, putting in 40- to 50-hour weeks on football during and before the season.

“It’s a job, there is no way around it — it’s a job,” said Colter, a 21-year-old senior whose college career is over.

Asked why Northwestern gave him a scholarship of $75,000 a year, he responded: “To play football. To perform an athletic service.” Later, he said players earn the money, in part, “by sacrificing our bodies.”

FOOTBALL

Rules chairman questions 10-second proposal

The chairman of the NCAA Football Rules Committee says a proposal to prohibit snapping the ball until at least 10 seconds run off the 40-second play clock should not go forward if there’s no hard evidence showing up-tempo offenses endanger the safety of defensive players.

Air Force coach Troy Calhoun is the chairman. He said he has yet to see a medical study linking the rapid pace of an offense to potential health issues for defensive players.

The Playing Rules Oversight Commission, which meets March 6, would have to approve the proposal.

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