Guy Who Sold PJ Fleck Hit Piece to WCCO Launches ‘College Football Players Association’

Photo: University of Minnesota

There appears to be a group, headed by former University of Minnesota professor Jason Stahl, that is attempting to launch the first ‘College Football Players Association’ (per ESPN).

Stahl, if you’ll remember, tried repeatedly to run PJ Fleck off campus while at The U. He blames his dislike for PJ’s culture as the reason for his eventual dismissal. More on that further below. First, let’s talk about the CFBPA and what it wants to accomplish.


On July 1, student athletes gained the ability to profit off of their own name, image and likeness (like the rest of America), without being reprimanded by the NCAA. That has opened the floodgates to a Wild West of NIL freedom.

Many believe college athletes will eventually need a players association, much like what their professional counterparts have at the NFL level and across all of major American sports. Jason Stahl and his newly formed ‘CFBPA’ group hope to rise above the other hopefuls to become that entity.

The College Football Players Association (CFBPA), led by former University of Minnesota professor Jason Stahl, has assembled an advisory group of attorneys, academics and athletes. They plan to start recruiting and signing up dues-paying members this week. Their announcement is the most recent push in an ongoing effort to organize college athletes, which advocates see as the next logical move during a summer of transformative change in collegiate sports.

“This is the next step,” Stahl told ESPN. “If players don’t get organized now, it’s never going to happen. There’s so much we can do right now.”

Along with Stahl, the advisory panel includes former college and NFL football players Gaelin Elmore and Pete Najarian; an anonymous current college football player; attorneys Richard Painter and James Humphries (a former Michigan football player); former University of Minnesota regent Michael Hsu and Ohio University professor B. David Ridpath, who studies college athletics administration and governance.


Not in it for the money???

Apparently, the CFBPA isn’t immediately focused on making more money for college football players, but rather, focusing on medical benefits and limiting practice time and activities. That won’t surprise anyone who has kept track of Stahl’s work.

Players will ultimately decide what they want to ask for if future negotiations take place, but Stahl thinks any type of demands for revenue sharing deals are still years away. He said fortifying health, safety and welfare through increased medical benefits or stricter limits on practice time and practice activities will likely be a high priority.


For years, Stahl’s been using team injuries and previous medical retirements in a feeble attempt to portray Fleck as a football mad man who doesn’t care about the health of his players. The reaction to the WCCO story was minimal because there isn’t any meat on the bone.

Football players get hurt when they play football and the injury numbers at Minnesota aren’t any different than what you see elsewhere. We talked about Stahl and his WCCO hit piece on our pilot episode of SS Minnesota a few months ago. We’ll interview him on the same show next Tuesday and stream it LIVE to both our YouTube and Twitter pages.

Stahl wants to be big time so we’ll see how he handles an honest interview with a couple of small-timers next week. I have so many questions…

The Group

Stahl’s “advisory panel” includes some names you might know, if following this story from the Northstar State. Gaelin Elmore played football for the Gophers from 2013-2016 and Pete Najarian is a renaissance man who currently makes a lot of money by playing with money. He talks about it regularly on CNBC. But in a former life, from 1983-85, Pete was an All-American linebacker at the University of Minnesota.

Also on the advisory panel, with ties to Minnesota, are former U of M Board of Regent, Michael Hsu and U of M law professor, Richard Painter.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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