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College players union ruling could come within a month, but then what?

Gator Bowl Football AP

On Wednesday the debate to determine if Northwestern football players should be considered employees of the university continues. Northwesern quarterback Kain Colter had his chance to testify with his case on Tuesday, and a petition to the National Labor Relations Board has been filed to request the right to hold a union election for Northwestern football players. An official ruling by the NLRB could be made within the next month, according to a report by MSNBC.

“In order for that petition to be valid and result in an election, they have to be employees, and that’s the issue the region is currently holding a hearing on,” Martin Malin, a labor law and professor at Illinois Institute of Technology, said. The NCAA continues to stand by their rejection of the labor union concept, suggesting it undermines the point of a student-athlete.

As a reminder, this is not going to develop overnight even if the NLRB rules in favor of the players and their right to hold an election. This continues to be a small step forward on a long journey for the players. The university holds a right to appeal any decision, and a number of hurdles still remain. If the NLRB rules in favor fo the players they still have to hold an election, and that may only happen after an appeal from the university is settled and again supports the players. If the election process is completed, a formal contract must be drafted and approved by the players union and university. If the university refuses to recognize the players union, the players would have to file for unfair labor practices.

“I would assume at that point the university would want to contest the determination that they [the players] are employees in court,” said Malin. “And to do that, the university would refuse to meet with the union. That would prompt the union to file an unfair labor practice charge alleging that the university refused to bargain in good faith.”

If you think things are ugly now, just wait. It could get a lot worse before anything gets better.

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9 Responses to “College players union ruling could come within a month, but then what?”
  1. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 19, 2014 10:13 AM

    The idea of a labor union and organized labor to me is great…. in practice though… they tend to be far from what’s envisioned, corrupt, and sometimes industry crippling.

  2. friarjack61 says: Feb 19, 2014 10:53 AM

    EMPLOYEES ??????
    To curtail the usage of that term, you cancel all current and future scholarships ! This will allow the idiot union seeking players, to understand, that, playing any sport in college, is a choice, and not a job. Going to classes is the ‘job’ of college students !!

  3. chunkala says: Feb 19, 2014 11:58 AM

    I agree with both of you, union sounds good on paper but it will certainly spiral out of control like it has in MLB and quickly ruin the game – guaranteeing contracts for .180 hitters, etc.
    I hope the universities stand up to this and simply cancel the sport, then most of the players (probably not Nothwesterns) will be out of college and back on the street.

  4. silverdeer says: Feb 19, 2014 1:31 PM

    The downstream ramifications of this happening are just mind boggling. The only thing, I can say to Kain Colter on this, is be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. The players whine now about not having any money…Just wait until the IRS comes knocking.

  5. sparky151 says: Feb 19, 2014 2:26 PM

    They would obviously seem to qualify as employees of the university. They provide services to the university worth millions of dollars. They are compensated for those services. They are supervised by university employees. They are required to be present on various occasions at risk of losing their compensation. The university won’t negotiate with them individually so they aren’t independent contractors.

    So they should win before the NLRB.

  6. pearljam2 says: Feb 19, 2014 7:07 PM

    Basically greed is going to destroy college football

  7. mauldawg says: Feb 19, 2014 7:39 PM

    How much money will got to some union thug?If they want to join the union,then let them pay for their education.

  8. onbucky96 says: Feb 19, 2014 10:14 PM

    Kain Coulter, the man who thinks he knows it all. Too bad he’s too stupid to realize Title IX would require the same pay for the Womens Rowing team as Football. Good luck in the real world Coulter, as you’re going to wreck college football.

  9. manik56 says: Mar 4, 2014 9:46 PM

    I never thought I would see the day when Northwestern has become the villains of college football. Here we are.

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