Kain Colter is a Northwestern University QB, but he's a lot more than that. The football recruit arrived at the school hoping to become an orthopedic surgeon, but now is pursuing a psychology degree. Colter is also strongly stating his case for a college football player's union, according to Sports Illustrated on Feb. 18, 2014.
On Tuesday, the Northwestern QB testified that he was essentially paid to play football via his scholarship. The National Labor Relations Board opened the hearing on a bid that is seeking to form the first union for college athletes in U.S. history.
"It's a job, there is no way around it — it's a job," said Colter, a 21-year-old senior whose college career is over.
Asked why Northwestern gave him a scholarship of $75,000 a year, he responded: "To play football. To perform an athletic service." Later, he said players earn the money, in part, "by sacrificing our bodies."
Colter continued to characterize playing college football as a job and that schools make that incredibly clear to incoming players. He stated time and time again that universities are clear that athletics have a higher priority than academics.
Kain Colter is the co-founder of the College Athletes Players Association. He said that players put in 40 to 50 hour weeks on football before and during the season while also trying to study and go to class. He gave information that said during training in August, players usually start practice at 8:00 a.m. and don't finish until after 10:00 p.m.
The bid by Colter is supported by the United Steelworkers. There is a lot more still to come before a college player's union is ever formed, but there are plenty of people pushing for it.
"Academics always trumps athletics at Northwestern," he said. "Northwestern is not a football factory."