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Northwestern student athletes vote to unionize

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Congressional interest in the current state of college athletics will take another step forward Thursday when a House committee conducts a hearing to examine the recent decision by a regional chairman of the National Labor Relations Board to allow college football players at Northwestern University to unionize.


The Education and Workforce Committee will conduct a hearing titled "Big Labor on College Campuses: Examining the Consequences of Unionizing Student Athletes," the committee said in a release.


"The NLRB's decision represents a radical departure from longstanding federal labor policies," committee chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) said in the release. "Classifying student athletes as employees threatens to fundamentally alter college sports, as well as reduce education access and opportunity. The committee has a responsibility to thoroughly examine how the NLRB's decision will affect students and their ability to receive a quality education."


The committee's website said that witnesses are yet to be announced.


The NLRB has granted Northwestern's request for a full-board review of regional director Peter Sung Ohr's decision that Northwestern football players who are receiving athletic scholarships are university employees. However, Ohr's decision resulted in players casting ballots last Friday on whether to form a union. Because of Northwestern's challenge, the ballots were impounded by the NLRB and are unlikely to be counted until the full board issues a decision.


A friend of mine in NYC shot a video last week that aired on FOX 5 in DC that gathered people's opinions on the issue which can be viewed here:


And a longer interview can be viewed here:





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