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Big 12 football coaches don't see players as 'employees'

As the debate rages on about whether or not college football players should be allowed to form a union, Mike Gundy and Bob Stoops say they don’t look at players that way.
by Jason Kersey Published: April 22, 2014

Baylor coach Art Briles, who played college football at Houston in the mid-to-late 1970s, disputed the notion that players today face more football-related time demands.

“I mean we were seven days a week during the season,” Briles said. “There wasn't a day-off rule. We were a lot longer in spring training. I think we had 30 days of spring training where now you have 15. The time obligations back then were a lot heavier than what they have now.”

Briles did acknowledge, though, that summer workouts are different.

Under NCAA rules, any organized team workout activities in the summer must be voluntary and if a player chooses not to participate, they aren’t supposed to be punished for it. That notion has long been disputed, though.

Kansas State’s Bill Snyder, who has been the Wildcats’ coach since 1989 with a three-year break between 2006 and 2009, said he has seen the time demands on his players increase dramatically throughout his career, and sounded ambivalent about that fact.

“It's become pretty much a full-time involvement for young people,” Snyder said. “I think one of the advantages of it if you look at it from the positive side is it keeps young people involved with people who really have their best interests at heart and people that want to help them grow as young men.

“By the same token, you could look at the other side of the coin and suggest that this isn't the NFL, and the NFL probably has more time off for their players than we do in college football right now.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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