NCAA anti-union talking points memo surfaces, features Swinney

Dabo Swinney isn't a fan of the college athletes' union movement. (USATSI)
Dabo Swinney isn't a fan of the college athletes' union movement. (USATSI)
With the College Athletes Players' Association union movement on one side, and the Ed O'Bannon and Jeffrey Kessler lawsuits (among others) on the other, you can't blame the NCAA for feeling threatened these days. And in turn, you can't blame it for a talking points memo published by Sunday that seeks to "assist members in conducting public outreach or responding to media requests."

Featuring multiple bullet points under headings like "Why Pay for Play Isn't the Answer," "Important Facts/Proof Points," and "The World with Student-Athlete Unions/Pay for Play," the memo originally surfaced at the website of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators. An NCAA spokesperson told that the NCAA created the memo after "our members requested facts and data on pay-for-play because there was so much misinformation in the media."

The memo also features quotes from the likes of Mike Slive, Larry Scott, USC athletic director Pat Haden, and a lengthy one from Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. Speaking in late March, Swinney argued that "we've got enough entitlement in this country as it is" and "to say these guys get nothing totally devalues an education."

Putting aside the issue of whether the NCAA should be championing comments that describe the CAPA's emphasis on long-term health issues and guaranteed scholarships as "entitlement," it's worth noting -- as SBNation did -- that the NCAA's version of Swinney's comments neatly elides that he began them by saying "I have no idea" what to make of the NLRB decision and "I really don’t know enough about it to comment.” 

That doesn't necessarily mean Swinney's comments should be dismissed out of hand. But still, it seems worthy of an "oops" all the same.

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