- The NLRB ruled in favor of The College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), let by former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, deciding that Northwestern football players are employees and not student-athletes, which now gives them the right to form a union.
- The NLRB ruling only applies to private schools.
- If public schools wish to unionize, they will need to go through this same process with their individual state labor boards.
- Northwestern University is disappointed in the decision and plans to appeal, which could drag out this process even more.
- The entire NLRB decision can be found HERE
- A study conducted by the National College Players Association and the Drexel University Sport Management Department released finding from a join study showing that from 2011-2015, FBS and men’s basketball players would receive an additional 6 billion dollars if student-athletes were “free agents.”
- The average fair market value of a FBS football player-$137,000
- The average fair market value of a men’s college basketball player-$289,000
- Players at top 10 revenue generating basketball programs would be worth about 3.5 million, with Louisville basketball players being worth almost 6.5 million
- The report can be found HERE
- Northwestern officially filed their appeal of the NLRB decision on allowing college athletes to unionize.
- Northwestern alleges that NLRB Chicago Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr relied too heavily on the testimony of Kain Colter and discounted the testimony of the other three players who testified.
- Northwestern also believes that Ohr disregarded evidence that academics is the primary mission of Northwestern students, including its football players, pointing to a 97% graduation rate among its football players.
- Northwestern also pointed to the fact that its scholarships are for four years, not one year as is the case with other universities.
Which way are Northwestern players leaning?
- The Northwestern players are scheduled to vote April 25th on whether or not to unionize.
- The early signs point to the players voting no, with starting quarterback Trevor Siemian being the most vocal against the union.
- Linebacker Collin Ellis also wants to vote no, stating that, “It’s not worth risking what I love here, the people that I love, hurting relationships or creating any void between us, members of the team, members of the community, alumni, for a minute chance to make change at the grander level.”
- Linebacker Jimmy Hall added, “The biggest thing is players don’t want to go against Fitz, and go against their school, the university as a whole.”
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