Among the numerous reactions Sunday to the grievances and demands published by a group of Pac-12 players threatening to boycott the 2020 Pac-12 season, one thread of tweets seemed especially well-reasoned and insightful.
They come from Chad Fotheringham, a businessman and the father of Utah tight end Cole Fotheringham.
The senior Fotheringham took care to note that his thoughts are those of a player’s parent, and not those of his son. We have embedded his initial tweet below, transcribing the other numbered tweets in the thread after.
1-My thoughts (not my sons) on pac-12 players requests as a parent, fan, businessman.
-50% rev share not going to happen. Too many others would be adversely affected especially female athletes who currently benefit off that 50% revenue. Federal laws mandate that won’t change.
— Chad Fotheringham (@padreandojamon) August 2, 2020
“2-extra years of scholarship. The most important ask and absolutely a must! My quick research shows that a masters degree would allow a life changing benefit to these players, especially minorities who on average earn less with a bachelors than non-minorities.
It also allows 2 years of graduate school relationship building with no football requirements. The value of graduate school is less about what you learn and more about who you meet. Those relationships with others and a specific focus on education would be life changing.
This would cost universities next to nothing as the additional cost of a few athletes in classes is minimal. I’d offer two options. Masters with scholarship stipend and doctorate tuition only. For most athletes the masters would only be 1 additional year as most graduate in 3.
Health insurance for 6 years. If you do a good job ensuring your athletes get jobs this won’t be an issue as employers will pay for their health insurance. Id change this to health insurance while you are getting a masters or doctorate. Very inexpensive for that age.
Or at minimum give access to same Drs they had when they were playing as well as coverage for any injury incurred while playing for lifetime. Universities should be mandated to take out workers comp insurance on players the same way employers do so the costs would be fixed.
3-allow players to declare for draft and return if not drafted is no brainer and not costly for anyone.
4-reduce salaries of league commissioner Larry Scott. Although amusing and warranted it’s not a good tactic when negotiating. Focus on helping your cause not hurting Others.
I don’t blame coaches and Larry Scott for the salaries they make. If you could get those salaries you would and should get them. I do think Pac-12 university presidents should be more judicious in approving commissioners salaries and budgets in future which I’m sure they will.
5-Being able to market their own image is a no brainer. That’s already on the way to happening so just speed it up. This is a way to pay the players that doesn’t affect other student athletes scholarships and more reasonable request. 6- health concerns with covid. The conference is doing a lot to ensure players safety and had a conference call with parents addressing all steps to protect players. They told parents players could opt out if there was a concern and stay on scholarship. Small % of players make it in NFL and those who do last ave 3.3 years.
That additional graduate school would absolutely change the trajectory of players lives and give them a launching pad to a future they may not have had with a bachelors degree with a minimal expense to the institutions. Let’s see if Larry can earn his salary and make that change.
Once again these are my thoughts and have nothing to do with my son. He does not use Twitter. I do know that he cares deeply about all his teammates and coaches and the Univ. of Utah.”
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