(Evanston, IL) -- College sports could become unionized. The National Labor Relations Board is giving the go ahead to Northwestern University football players and the College Athletes Players Association to form a union and negotiate benefits. The NLRB says scholarship players aren't primarily students because of the amount of time dedicated to football. It added that the school failed to justify denying scholarship football players employee status. Northwestern issued a statement saying student-athletes are not employees and unionization and collective bargaining aren't appropriate ways to address their concerns. The university plans to appeal the decision.
The players petitioned for union status in January, seeking scholarships that cover the full cost of attending school, guaranteed scholarships for players who are injured or otherwise can't play and incentives to help players finish their degrees.