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National Labor Board denies college players right to unionize

Leo W. Gerard, President of the Steelworkers, (R) and Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter answer questions at a press conference on January 28 2014 at  The Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago Illinois. Citing what they deem as the NCAA's abdication of responsibility to protect athletes from injury, the College Athletes Association (CAPA) announced the creation of the new labor organization to represent college football and basketball players.
David Banks/Getty Images
Citing what they deem as the NCAA's abdication of responsibility to protect athletes from injury, the College Athletes Association (CAPA) announced the creation of the new labor organization to represent college football and basketball players. This organization just lost a lawsuit, denying Northwestern football players the right to unionize

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Monday threw out a historic ruling that gave Northwestern University football players the go-ahead to form the nation's first college athletes' union.

CHICAGO (AP) - The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Monday threw out a historic ruling that gave Northwestern University football players the go-ahead to form the nation's first college athletes' union, saying the prospect of union and nonunion teams could throw off the competitive balance in college football.

The decision dismissed a March 2014 decision by a regional NLRB director in Chicago who said that the football players are effectively school employees and entitled to organize. Monday's decision did not directly address the question of whether the players are employees. And it remains to be seen whether the players can still take this to federal court.

DECISION ON REVIEW AND ORDER (August 17, 2015)

Northwestern University Decision Fact Sheet

Guest:

Warren Zola, adjunct  professor of Sports Law at Boston College; he also writes for the Sports Law Blog

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