Northwestern union voting period expires


The deadline for Northwestern football players to cast their votes on whether or not to form a union has now officially expired. The deadline for votes to be submitted was at noon, central time. Of course, the results of the vote may not be known for some time depending on the status of a formal appeal filed by Northwestern University to the National Labor Relations Board.

The NLRB previously awarded Northwestern football players the right to hold a vote to form a union. A simple majority from the votes that were submitted by eligible scholarship football players is needed in order for the union to begin forming. It is not known exactly how many players chose to vote, but the outcome will be determined by whatever votes were submitted during the two separate voting periods on Friday. Players were given two windows to cast votes Friday morning, allowing more availability for conflicting schedules.

The results of the voting will not be revealed until after the NLRB listens to the appeal from the university and makes a ruling. If the NLRB decides to uphold the initial ruling, the outcome of the vote will determine the next step in the process. A simple majority in favor of a union will lead to the next step in the process, which involves coming up with a list of demands to bring to a bargaining table with the university, the employer. A majority vote against the union, which appears to have become a realistic possibility, would bring the Northwestern union movement to a close, while still leaving the door open for potential unions at other private colleges and universities.

When the NLRB ruling on the appeal will be made is uncertain, so for now the voting process hangs in limbo.

Report: Duke Williams injured Auburn teammate with punch in ‘bar rampage’

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  D'haquille Williams #1 of the Auburn Tigers misses a touchdown catch in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.

Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program.  A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.

The unnamed, however, now has a name.

According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”

Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to

No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.

“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”

Illini’s leading rusher, Josh Ferguson, officially ruled out vs. Iowa

Josh Ferguson, Jordan Italiano
Associated Press
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If Illinois is going to improve upon its solid 4-1 start to the 2015 season, it’ll have to do so without a significant cog in its offensive machinery.

On the official injury report release Thursday night, the Illini confirmed that Josh Ferguson has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against No. 22 Iowa.  The decision is not exactly a surprise as Ferguson has been doubtful in the run-up to the road game against the Hawkeyes.

Ferguson sustained an injury to his right shoulder in the first quarter of last Saturday’s last-second win over Nebraska, and has been unable to practice at all this week.

Ferguson’s 381 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and 5.4 yards per carry are all tops on the team.  He’s added 12 receptions for 28 yards and another touchdown coming out of the backfield.

With Ferguson sidelined, the bulk of the running-game load is expected to shift to Ke’Shawn Vaughn.  Through five games, Vaughn is second on the Illini with 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns.