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As of right this second, there isn't really a strong institutional voice that really speaks for college athletes.
There's the NCAA, but decades of history have shown that in practice, that organization advocates primarily for the interests of universities. LEAD1 advocates for college athletic directors. In a post-NIL world, agents and new companies have begun to agitate and advocate for athlete economic interests, but also have their own agendas. The list goes on.
One of many reasons there isn't an institutional voice for college athletes is because right now, athletes don't have access to a traditional institution that gives voice to labor: unions. While this might change in the future, college athletes aren't considered employees, which means they can't unionize.
There are advantages and specific privileges that come with belonging to an entity that can force collective bargaining, no doubt about it. But a union isn't the only type of association that could be available to college athletes.
One group, the College Football Player's Association, or CFBPA, isn't waiting on legal changes and employment reclassification. They're trying to build a college football player's association now.
Here's what that might look like: