College athletics has undergone major changes in 2021, with the easing of transfer rules and student-athletes now being able to profit off their name, image and likeness. Another change came Tuesday, with the launching of the College Football Players Association (CFBPA), a group that will advocate for more rights for college football players.
Jason Stahl, founder and executive director of the association, started the venture to "make sure that college football players are finally organized to have a collective voice in the decision-making within their sport.''
"In the summer of 2020 college football players called for the creation of a CFBPA while returning to play in the midst of a pandemic,'' Stahl said in a statement. "Today, that dream become reality.''
Stahl, who has held teaching, research and administrative positions at the University of Minnesota, was involved in efforts to organize U of M graduate students in 2004-05 and was an activist in the university's faculty unionization work in 2015-17.
The CFBPA has established a website (cfbpa.org) and began recruiting prospective members Tuesday. There will be four membership categories available: active college football players with eligibility remaining ($24 per year), high school players who might play in college ($12 per year), parents of players ($20 per year) and past college football players ($50 per year).
The association also has set up a seven-member advisory board that includes former Gophers players Gaelin Elmore and Pete Najarian and former University of Minnesota regent Michael Hsu. Others could be added to the board in the future.
"The CFBPA will provide the megaphone for the players who have been ignored in the past and in the present,'' Hsu said in a statement.