UH athletics director Ben Jay reacts to college athletes unionizingUPDATED 11:37 PM HST Mar 26, 2014Video Transcript
sports forever ... Good evening, I'm Yunji de Nies. And I'm Paula Akana. A major legal ruling today says athletes can unionize ... Some say the next step could be PAYING them. The University of Hawaii athletics director says there's definitely a downside to that! KITV4's Catherine Cruz talked to Ben Jay and joins us live with our top story tonight at six.. We also talked to some sports fans who called the decision bizarre and who are fearful of the ripple effect. Lots of talk about this being a game-changer. 10 36 The airwaves were electric with the news. Phone lines to the Sports Animals at ESPN radio were JAMMED... - Chris Hart 8:50- 9:08 - "Probably the biggest story today is the Chicago district National Labor Relations board ruled that Northwestern footbnall players qualify as employees of the university and can now unionize. This is going to be huge!" UH athletics director Ben Jay happend to be in a highrise downtown next door to the studios in a marketing meeting trying to absorb what just happened. - Ben Jay 3:00:10-3:00:19 - "For those in the athletics world its a wakeup call. For many many people, a lot of athetic directors and university presidents are looking at what the ramifications are." The ruling stands to have the greatest impact on athletes at big name schools But everyone is asking what about the effect on everyone else. - CHRIS HART 3:11: 59 - 3:12: 10 -" How many universities can afford that what if you are a univeirsty and you cant afford to pay? will this ruin college athletics as we speak? Callers were asking the same thing. Do you pay players at the expense of other college athletics? - 16 :27-16: 40 - "I think its really sad. In the BCS there are only a 10-12 schools that make money. UH couldn't compete if they had to pay their football players." Far reaching effects could change the rules for scholarships, taxes and workers comp Jay says colleges could be forced to decide how to spend their limited resources. - Ben Jay 3:04:45 - 3:052 -"Our program is not paying for itself now and we will have to make a determination of how far do we stretch those resources and program reduction has to be a part of that discussion it ahs to be taken a look at if we are pushed to shove" Jay says it will important to look at the intent of the suit. Some expect an appeal could go all the way up to the Supreme Court and so it could be years before a decision is final. But today's decision has certainly turned the sports world on its head.