That noise you hear, that was the beginning of what could be a cataclysmic shift in college athletics. After the National Labor Relations Board Chicago office determined the Northwestern football meets the qualifications to form a union, sea-change could be coming to college football. What does it mean for the NFL?
Who really knows is the short answer, but the possibilities seem to have few boundaries. With the growing discussion of paying college football players, could the NLRB decision accelerate those talks? Boiled down, the NLRB decision equates that the football players at Northwestern are employees of the university. What do employees get? Paid, that's what.
This will have a lot of layers, the NCAA will very likely fire back with harsh words and perhaps legal action. And like any legal issues, it will all take time. The only people sure to profit from the Northwestern petition are lawyers, but in the long-term could college players become more like professional players? Will that impact the draft? Rookie wage scale?
With just one decision, the NCAA model seems in peril. Will it hold? Is paying college athletes the next move? What impact will that have on the NFL? What about the Redskins? Will owner Dan Snyder's deep pockets prove an asset down the road?
It's a lot to think about, but let us know what you think in the comments.