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Virginia Tech's Bud Foster Wants To Treat Players Like Employees, Apparently.

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"I was just kidding you guys!"
"I was just kidding you guys!"
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

You're probably familiar with the recent effort by Northwestern football players to unionize. That effort has not so far been successful. According to the NCAA (and for now the National Labor Relations Board), student-athletes are not employees, and therefore cannot form labor unions.

Which is why it seemed a little dissonant this evening when Bud Foster, defensive coordinator at Virginia Tech, remarked to writers following practice in Blacksburg that the Hokies are considering fining players from their cost of attendance money as a disciplinary tool.

It's okay. I mean it's just something they're spitballing, right?

One imagines the folks at the NCAA and their lawyers gave a collective slap of the forehead when they heard Foster's remarks. Because it is axiomatic that if you can lose money based on your performance or conduct you may be an employee. On this premise essentially every labor lawyer in America can agree. Sure regular students can lose their scholarships based on poor academic performance. But the idea that you can actually take money back from student-athletes for personal foul penalties, not wearing a tie on the bus to road games and the like is some next level stuff.

At a minimum it's the kind of PR the folks in Indianapolis did not need. The idea of a guy who makes $1.3 million per year taking money from kids who are expected to get by on $3200 per year just looks like a dick move.

I also seem to recall something about coaches not being able to split or otherwise diminish scholarship funds in FBS football. So if Virginia Tech has been doing that . . .

There it is. {Calls coaches into conference room for tense question and answer session}

All's well!

I note that no "current" players have had their per diems "garnished." That doesn't mean the Hokies haven't done it in the past. Because they absolutely have and it was public knowledge. Whether that was permissible under prevailing NCAA rules at the time I have no idea. My opinion is that it probably shouldn't have been.

I also cannot imagine that opposing recruiters will let kids considering Virginia Tech forget this. I can't imagine a way to look less out of touch with players than talking about taking their meal money because you don't like their attitudes. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

But let's also be honest about this: does anyone believe he's the only coach who's thought about this, or even discussed it? I highly doubt it. Now we wait for other coaches to be asked about whether they've considered it and lie their ever-loving butts off about it.

Remember that time we tried to hire Bud Foster as our defensive coordinator? Me neither. Until later . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!