UMass students weigh in on student-athlete unions

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The NCAA is asking all colleges and universities to say no to student-athlete unions, and 22News asked UMass students their opinion.

UMass is a Division I school. Their basketball team made it to the NCAA Tournament this year.

Northwestern University, also a Division I school, could be the first in the country to form a student-athlete union of football players.

But the NCAA doesn’t like the idea. They say it would take the focus off education and lead to fewer scholarships and championships, may cut funding for smaller sports, and might divide athletic and non-athletic students. They also warn that unions could lead to a cut in academic support and career counseling.

22News asked students at UMass their thoughts.

UMass junior Matt Clancey said, “I can see where college athletes are coming from, because I think they’re a little upset that universities make so much money off of them and they don’t get anything in return. I’m not sure what these unions would lead to; if they would get paid or if it’s just to protect themselves.”

A recent survey of 900 students found that less than one-third were in favor of athlete unions.

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