ACC notebook: Coaches keep tabs on players' bid to unionize
Several ACC football coaches said Wednesday that the question of unionization of players hasn't surfaced on their campuses, but some coaches offered warnings.
“Players' voices do need to be heard,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. “I don't know if unionization is the way, but I'm not saying it's not.
“I think there are some good points to it, but we are trying to go down a road that we don't know. We have to be very careful.
“They want those things, which is great, but what does unionization mean and what could they possibly give up once you become a union?”
The National Labor Relations Board's regional director in Chicago ruled in March that collegiate athletes are employees of their university and can form a union. Northwestern football players are scheduled to vote Friday on whether to unionize.
“I need to educate myself on what it would all mean,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “I don't think anyone would want to be paying taxes on their scholarships.”
None of the coaches said they have heard any players talking about forming a union.
“Early on, I talked to the team a little bit and that was it,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said.
Church versus state
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he will make no changes in the wake of charges made by the Freedom From Religion Foundation that there is no clear separation between church and state in his football program.
“I was a little caught off guard,” Swinney said. “I am very proud of the way we do things at Clemson. We do things the right way and always have and will continue to run the program the way we always have.”
The foundation complained that Swinney named James Trapp team chaplain without student input and regularly allowed him to conduct Bible studies in between practice sessions.
Previously, Swinney said in a statement that he has recruited and coached players of many different faiths.
“Players of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program,” he said.
Eight or nine?
There will discussion next month at the league meetings on the question of playing eight or nine conference games.
Teams play eight, but they are scheduled to go years between games with schools from the other division.
Pitt, for example, can't play Florida State again until 2020.
Swinney said he hopes that changes so a player can play every team in the conference at least once.
Pitt coach Paul Chryst said there is no timetable for senior running back Isaac Bennett's return after having shoulder surgery last week. Chryst said previously that he hopes Bennett will recover in time for training camp in August.
Bennett and running back James Conner (knee) were injured April 4 at practice. Conner is expected to be able to participate in the summer conditioning program that begins next month.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Improved play against zone keys Pitt’s turnaround
- At Pitt, a chance to make early impression under Narduzzi
- Clairton’s Titus Howard dismissed from Pitt football team
- Pitt’s weakness ‘pretty obvious’ to all
- Role change suiting Pitt’s Jones just fine
- Pitt’s Young leaves impression with inside game
- Ex-Pitt star Knight interested in university’s athletic director job
- Pitt basketball team ready for ACC stretch run
- Pitt’s rise coincides with improvement by sophomore forward Artis