A college “super league” could bring NFL-like features (salary cap, draft, trades) to college football


A”Super League“could be the only way to save college football. This is the only way to control the chaos created by the collapse of the NCAA model, which is rife with violations of federal antitrust laws.

The key is the one thing college football has resisted: unionization of the workforce that those in power don't want to call a workforce. Now that players have the power, a union may be college football's only hope.

The key to this is what the law calls a multi-employer bargaining unit. This allows otherwise independent decisions to be made and rules for recruiting, compensating and retaining players to be imposed that, without a union, would be a violation of antitrust law.

First of all, there would likely be some sort of spending limit, also known as a salary cap. The various programs would have limited expenditure. That would protect the entire system from implosion if some of the university presidents decide to go all out on paying players.

The existence and extent of a salary cap would be one of the things that would have to be negotiated with a union. Another reality would be (or at least could be) fixed contractual obligations that would limit or even eliminate the transfer portal. The new player would sign a contract for a specific period of time – one year, two years, four years, or even the entire five years of eligibility.

Eligibility would also be negotiable. Could college football players stay longer than five years? Everything would depend on what management and workers agree on.

What about trades? Could they happen? If the collective agreement says so, they could do so.

And here's the thing that could happen (but shouldn't happen). A college football draft. No more recruiting. Schools simply call “dibs” on new players, just like the NFL does.

Basically, college football would look a lot more like professional football. This is also appropriate, because professional football has existed for decades in which the players are excluded from sharing in the revenue. The abuses ranged from refusing to pay players to preventing them from making money based on their names, images and likenesses.

The NIL barrier was the first to fall and the old guard lost their minds. Nick Saban picked up his Little Debbie oatmeal pies and went home, citing (God forbid) the fact that the players now want to know how much they're getting paid.

Anyone who pushes for a “Super League” is not doing so out of the goodness of their hearts. They believe this is the only way to avert the possible collapse of conferences and closure of programs for schools that realize that legal fees and settlements/judgments make it impossible to balance the budget.

College football is experiencing the chaos it deserves. The “Super League” is not an innovation. It's a Hail Mary.