College football fans have probably have noticed a small, new addition to players’ uniforms. Though small in size, it is certainly not small in significance. Players have begun to wear the letters APU, which stands for All Players United, on their wrist tape, eye black, and other spots on their uniforms. They are wearing these letters in protest of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
All Players United is run by the National Collegiate Players Association, which is an organization made for former and current college athletes. Ramogi Huna, the director of NCPA, said the efforts of APU resulted from the lawsuit which college athletes brought against the NCAA, Electronic Arts, and and the Collegiate Licensing Company.
The lawsuit involves various college football athletes which includes Arizona State linebacker Jake Fischer and kicker Jake Smith, Clemson defensive back Darius Robinson, Vanderbilt linebacker Chase Garnham, and Minnesota tight end Moses Alipate and wide receiver Victor Keise.
“That was the catalyst, and from there players started thinking about the types of things they wanted to support,” said Huma in an article in USA Today. “Concussions are the highest priority. These are serious health and safety issues they feel the NCAA is ignoring.”
Because of the fact that the protest is just starting out, there was a wide variety of responses from the athletes on the Sonoma State campus.
“I believe that protecting college athletes is crucial, and should be the main priority of the NCAA,” said Sonoma State baseball player Jeffrey Boulware.
Although Boulware is just learning about the cause of the APU, he is in agreement with the main causes of the protest. There were a few more diverse responses to the topic.
“Well I have never wanted to protest because I don’t smoke or do roids,” said Sonoma State baseball player Luis Lerma. “So I don’t really have anything to protest.”
As seen by the responses from various athletes, the APU protest has not yet really hit the Sonoma State campus. Some athletes know the basics of the protest but have not yet received the full details of the cause. The APU protest began at the Division I level, and it is likely that the movement will soon reach the Division II level, and so on.
“The intent is to continue on until the NCAA changes its rules,” said Huma.
The Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Sonoma State chose not to comment on the matter. The issue has become very controversial throughout NCAA athletics. Although it has only been spread to a few schools so far such as Northwestern, Georgia, and other schools, the protest should begin to move throughout Division II, and Division III, and other college programs.
The movement hopes to continue to push for positive changes in the conditions of college athletes, as well as other things throughout the NCAA. The movement could very well soon be a part of Sonoma State Athletics.