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College football: Football programs can now make summer workouts mandatory

by Jason Kersey Modified: April 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm •  Published: April 24, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board’s Chicago office ruled late last month that football players at Northwestern University are employees under federal law and, as such, can unionize.

Just last week, the NCAA Legislative Council decided that athletes — scholarship or walk-on — can now be allowed unlimited meals and snacks, where before, they were allowed three meals per day or a food stipend.

Responding to the news regarding summer workouts Thursday afternoon, former OU center Gabe Ikard tweeted: “This makes the unlimited meals irrelevant. God bless all the football student-athletes at the University of Oklahoma.”

Runnels played at OU from 2002 through 2006 before spending time in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals. The former Carl Albert standout now lives and works in and around Norman, and frequently voices his opinions regarding college athletics on Twitter, in interviews and during radio appearances.

As a former OU team captain, Runnels said he believes it’s important to continue speaking out on behalf of student-athletes who are struggling.

“It’s not to stir the pot at all,” Runnels said. “It’s just to get the information out that, ‘This is what’s going on. The school’s making a lot of money off football, and there are players who are struggling from it.’

“I love my university. I say that every day, but if things are gonna change, I think we should lead the way.”

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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