Harbaugh: Players ‘might be in a worse position if they’re paid’

Jim Harbaugh has a concern about unintended consequences of the college football players union movement.
Mark Cunningham/Getty Images

With Northwestern next on the schedule, perhaps it was appropriate Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was asked for his thoughts on the attempt some Wildcats players made to unionize last year. 

He is concerned not all the consequences would be positive. 

"The one thing they probably need to look at is, if they are paid something and they become employees, there would be a real chance that they would be taxed, that their scholarship would be taxed as a taxable benefit," Harbaugh told reporters on the weekly Big Ten coaches conference call. 

"I don’t know if they’ve really looked at that and wondered if they might not be better off in a situation that they have (now). That’s my question. The youngsters might be in a worse position if they’re paid something, some amount of money and they become employees of the university."

The unionization proposal at Northwestern would not have affected Michigan (or any other public school), but it was eventually rejected by the National Labor Relations Board after initially being approved by a regional director. 

(H/T Detroit Free Press)

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