Does the decision to allow Northwestern to unionize affect Syracuse? Let’s start here: Nothing will be affected for quite some time. The NCAA is loading up for bear. The last thing the billion-dollar power structure is going to allow is its free labor suddenly having rights or (gasp!) salaries and pensions. This is just the first step of a marathon courtroom footrace.
But since Northwestern is a private university with an FBS football team, much like Syracuse, the question has been floated whether those types of institutions would be affected sooner.
Does Syracuse have plenty in common with Northwestern? Yes. Private. Power conference. High academics. Darryl Gross and the decision-makers on the Hill are most definitely as interested as anyone else in what happens.
But there is an oversimplification going on, not surprisingly. Sports media talks about sports things. Batting lineups. Quarterback ratings. Who stinks. Who’s great. They don’t talk about litigation, law or labor ethics. So things that will take 3-5 years to figure out are suddenly being pasted together with shoddy speculation.
There’s some tremendous thought out there from guys like Jay Bilas. But 1+2 does not necessarily = 3 here. This is a different state. This will be fought at every step by the NCAA. And while there’s plenty in common between Northwestern and Syracuse (and other private schools in power leagues like Duke and Notre Dame and Stanford), one domino won’t knock down the other right now.
Should Syracuse fans pay attention to it? Absolutely. But not because it will affect SU more than Rutgers. We should all pay attention because it’ll affect the entire college sports universe.