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College Football World Reacts To The Penn State 'Union' News

Penn State Nittany Lions helmet - Penn State v Georgia

January 02, 2016: Penn State helmet during the TaxSlayer Bowl between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Georgia Bulldogs. The Georgia Bulldogs (24) defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions (17) at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, FL. (Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire) (Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Big Ten players led by Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford are organizing for a bigger seat at the table.

More Perfect Union said Friday that Penn State is unionizing. However, Clifford said it'd be "inaccurate" to classify his conversations with head coach James Franklin, athletic director Patrick Kraft, and Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren in that light.

Per ESPN's Dan Murphy, Clifford has held discussions with Warren about player benefits such as medical care. While they talked about having a player-represented group join league conversations, there is currently no intention of forming a union.

Calling for more player involvement is a noteworthy step, but it's still far away from forming a union. Writer Alex Kirshner also speculated that the premature report could hinder any chances of successfully unionizing. 

Players fighting for rights nevertheless highlight a growing change in college football, one some will consider overdue given the game's physical risks.

Clifford said he's "optimistic" about collaboratively creating change through dialogue with Big Ten leadership, but he's also studied Northwestern's attempt at forming a union in 2014.

"I think this has been kind of looming for a while now," Clifford told Murphy. "It isn't as crazy a concept as it was in 2014. Players have rights in the way of name, image and likeness. Now it's about having a seat at the table with the billion-dollar deals and saying, 'Hey, we would like to talk about what we can do here.'"