Ruling Allows College Athletes to Unionize

A federal agency found that Northwestern University football players are actually employees under law.
3:00 | 03/27/14

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Transcript for Ruling Allows College Athletes to Unionize
We turn now to a fascinating and landmark ruling that could, in fact, change the face of college sports. A federal agency has found that northwestern university football players are, in fact, university employees under the law giving them now the right to form a union. ABC's Ryan smith has the story. Reporter: A potential college sports game changer but this time in the legal arena. The national labor relations board granting northwestern university scholarship football players the right to unionize calling them employees under the law and clearing the way for these players to vote for a union rep and negotiate with the school on terps like health care, safety, even payment. The decision, celebrated by former northwestern quarterback cane colter who led the drive to unionize. Into the end zone. Reporter: He talked to ESPN on Wednesday about the groundbreaking ruling. Today has been a huge success for not only northwestern players but players around the nation. Reporter: They plan to appeal the decision saying they believe "Our student athletes are not employees but students. Unionization and collective bargaining are not the appropriate methods to address the concerns raised by student athletes." The landmark decision the latest in a wave of legal actions by college players seeking more than just a scholarship in the multibillion dollar world of college sports. No less than three lawsuits are pending against the ncaa to change the way they treat their players. But this decision could transform the college sports playing field as we know it. I believe this could be a revolutionary decision because it's the first time that the colleges have been found to be legal employers. The facts are really not in dispute. Reporter: Now, the ncaa was not a part of the case but issued a statement saying they disagree with the decision of the as for northwestern they will appeal and, robin and josh, this is the kind of case that could go all the way to the supreme court. It would not surprise me one bit and, again, this is because northwestern players attend a private university. This is for 3r50i69 universities

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