In a stunning decision released March 26, 2014, the Regional Director of the Chicago Region of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Peter Sung Ohr, ruled that Northwestern University scholarship football players are entitled to have a union election because they are “employees” of the school under Section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Specifically, in Northwestern University v. College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), Case 13-RC-121359, the NLRB held that the football players primarily have an economic relationship with the university, which controls and directs their daily activities and compensates them in the form of scholarships. Although this decision will likely be appealed, it has the potential to alter dramatically the world of college sports. Read on for a play-by-play of the NLRB’s game-changing decision.
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