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Ruling Says College Athletes Can Form Unions

Will college sports turn pro? Critics say ruling could "completely throw away" college athletic system.

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CHICAGO – In a ruling that could change the landscape of college athletics, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Northwestern University football players are employees and have the right to unionize.

The board noted that the athletes sometimes work 50 to 60 hours a week, are subject to special rules that do not apply to the rest of the student population, are already compensated through scholarships and generate millions in revenue for universities.

The ruling can be read here.

CNN reported that the NCAA released a statement that it was disappointed with the ruling.

"We frequently hear from student-athletes, across all sports, that they participate to enhance their overall college experience and for the love of their sport, not to be paid," CNN quoted the statement from NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy. "While improvements need to be made, we do not need to completely throw away a system that has helped literally millions of students over the past decade alone attend college."

Northwestern plans to challenge the ruling by the National Labor Relations Board and it could take years to resolve, CNN noted.

How would you feel if your favorite college team unionized?

Shripathi Kamath March 28, 2014 at 11:35 AM
Colene March 28, 2014 at 09:54 AM As a college professor, I am concerned about what will happen when I assign the grade EARNED by a student athlete. If the student did not earn a passing grade, threatening a players' eligibility, will there be a response from the union? _____________________________________________________ You mean like how the Athletic Director's office does today?
Joe See March 30, 2014 at 09:45 AM
You are NOT serious. What a bunch of bull crap.
Joe See March 30, 2014 at 09:49 AM
I'll most likely have the account canceled for my remarks... Asshole decisions made by up and coming assholes will certainly drive this country further apart. I can see it now trickling down to high school, elementary school, pre-school and eventually as part of marriage vows. "Do you hereby swear to pay for your child's union education?"...OMG
Colene April 01, 2014 at 07:14 AM
Shripathi - Fortunately, our Athletic Director's office does not put any pressure to assign grades that were not earned. I have worked for an institution that did, though. Those students couldn't pass if their lives depended on it, but we DID have an amazing basketball team!

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