According to a tweet by More Perfect Union, the Big Ten is already in negotiations with the College Football Players’ Association in an effort to take care of issues such as benefits for medically retired players, and Penn State is leading the way.
A second tweet in the thread said that College Football Players Association Leadership said it isn’t organizing as a union, but instead as “an association to represent players’ interests.”
ESPN’s Kevin Warren also tweeted this.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren met with leaders of an independent players association this week. The group has asked to begin a conversation with the conference about demands including revenue sharing, and says Warren agreed to start that conversation.
— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) July 22, 2022
The association said it wants to have a united voice when it negotiates with the Big Ten and isn’t ruling out the possibility of a union later on.
UPDATE: College Football Players Association leadership clarifies that they aren't organizing as a union but rather an association to represent players' interests. They want to have a united voice in negotiating with the Big Ten. They aren't ruling out unionization down the line.
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) July 22, 2022
Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford, who started a Name, Image and Likeness collective earlier this year, is leading the charge, and he talked with More Perfect Union about what players want, namely revenue sharing and medical care.
“I think that it’s all about, you know, two things,” Clifford said. “It’s the players that are here currently, seeing how football wears on them, and then secondly, the players that have come and gone, the medically retired players.
One player Clifford mentioned was Journey Brown, a promising running back who was forced to medically retire from football in November of 2020 ahead of his redshirt junior season.
Brown is currently Clifford’s neighbor and one of his best friends.
“The game was taken from him earlier than he expected, and it’s tough for guys like that to be able to continue on and figure out what the next step is,” Clifford said. “I think that’s important, too.”
The college football players association was formed last July.