How Dartmouth’s Men’s Basketball Team Is Attempting to Revolutionize College Athletics

In a surprising turn of events, the Dartmouth men’s basketball team has recently made headlines, not for their on the court play, but for their off-court efforts. The team has taken a bold step by supporting the formation of a workers’ union, a move that could potentially shake up the landscape of college sports.

According to Kristopher Brooks of CBS, Members of the Ivy League school’s men’s basketball team voted 13-2 in favor of joining Service Employees International Union Local 560. Unionizing will give the players the ability to negotiate salary, along with working conditions like practice hours and travel. This unexpected development has sparked discussions about the rights of student-athletes and the implications for collegiate athletics.

Traditionally, college athletes have been seen as amateurs, with their compensation limited to scholarships and stipends. However, the Dartmouth men’s basketball team’s decision to support a workers’ union challenges this notion. Player’s on the Dartmouth men’s basketball team have been vocal about their opinions on amateurism. Junior Guards Cade Haskins and Romeo Myrthil told Amanda Christovich of FOS, “It’s time for the age of amateurism to end.” Unionization would allow athletes to not just earn salaries, but allow them to have access to labor benefits like worker’s compensation and health care.  

The implications of this move extend far beyond the confines of Dartmouth’s campus. If successful, it could set a precedent for other college athletes across the country to follow suit. Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic stated that, “A victory for the Dartmouth players’ unionization efforts could motivate other private schools in conferences with more diverse membership than the all-private Ivy League to organize themselves.”

Ultimately, whether or not the Dartmouth men’s basketball team’s unionization effort succeeds, it has already sparked important conversations about the rights and treatment of college athletes. As the landscape of collegiate sports continues to evolve, it is clear that change is on the horizon, and the 2024 Dartmouth men’s basketball can possibly be considered the trailblazers of college athletics for years to come.

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