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NLRB Denies Players Right to Unionize

#HOTTAEKS on the decision against player unionization.

Some quick barrel-fire #HOTSPR0TSTAEKS from the OTE crew...

Thomas Speth: "It only delays the inevitable. There's already a huge social media movement to get EA to start paying licensing so NCAA football can be a thing again. The NLRB is just being obtuse and archaic. But still. Fuck unions." #fire

GF3: "Good, now STFU and play. Thousands upon thousands of people can't even begin to afford college, and you're mad because you don't have money for a car? Shut and score me a touchdown or quit." #burnburnburn

WhiteSpeedReceiver: "HA! Take that, unions.  You're nothing but an inefficiency to an accountant, anyway."

AK: "Yes, how dare these outrageous bodies ensure I would be cared for as a child if my dad had been killed on his beat. What a bunch of assholes. That said, in the collegiate athletics context, we're way past pretending this is anything but a junior-league NFL. The NCAA doesn't get the billions in revenue without having to cough up a slice, that's not how this works."

WhiteSpeedReceiver: "Should I also disclose that my health care is provided due to the work of a teachers union? Naw, that doesn't seem relevant."

GF3: "Nah."

LPW: "Ok, NLRB shot down the union. While the issues raised are important and changes have been made, let's focus on bowling this season #B1GCats."

Then the Northwestern leadership got in on the act..


EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University is pleased by today's decision issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which declined to assert jurisdiction and dismisses a petition filed by the College Athletes Players Association seeking to become the collective bargaining representative of Northwestern University football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships. Because the NLRB declined to assert jurisdiction in the case and dismissed the petition, the union election held in April 2014 is moot and the votes of Northwestern scholarship football players cast at that time will not be counted.

As the University has stated previously, Northwestern considers its students who participate in NCAA Division I sports, including those who receive athletic scholarships, to be students, first and foremost. We applaud our players for bringing national attention to these important issues, but we believe strongly that unionization and collective bargaining are not the appropriate methods to address the concerns raised by student-athletes. We are pleased that the NLRB has agreed with the University's position.

Northwestern position remains that participation in athletics is part of the overall educational experience for our student-athletes, not a separate activity. Therefore, we intend to continue to work with our students, and others, to address the issues regarding the long-term health impact of playing intercollegiate sports, providing additional grant-in-aid support and providing academic support and opportunities for student-athletes. 

The welfare of our student-athletes is paramount here, and we're very proud of that. We are committed to ensuring their health, safety and well-being and that they are provided with every resource possible to grow and develop as well-rounded individuals. We now need to examine these issues nationally to ensure that student-athletes nationally are provided the same opportunities as those at Northwestern.

Comment from Jim Phillips, vice president for intercollegiate athletics and recreation

"Our focus is, was, and will continue to be on delivering a world-class experience -- academically, socially and athletically -- every day for each of our 494 student-athletes. Both locally at Northwestern, and broadly as chairman of the NCAA Division I Council, it has been remarkable over the last several years to witness the rapid evolution of college athletics with student-athlete well-being as the top priority. This outstanding university firmly believes in the paramount importance of the health, safety and well-being of its students and will continue to be a national leader, as it has been over the last several years with guaranteed, four-year, cost-of-attendance scholarships for all 19 varsity teams, extended medical benefits and unparalleled professional development programming."

Comment from Pat Fitzgerald, Head Football Coach

"Our young men chose to attend Northwestern to compete on the field at the highest level, earn a world-class education and prepare for the rest of their lives. They have displayed maturity beyond their years through this process, and the experience has unquestionably brought us closer together as a football family. This group posted the highest cumulative GPA in program history during the 2014-15 academic year, earned a record 38 Academic All-Big Ten honors last season and is excited to return to the field this fall to play the game they love and compete for a Big Ten championship.

Fan the flames in the comments section...or offer your well-reasoned opioni--yeah, couldn't write that without chuckling.