The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled in favor of Colter and the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) on Wednesday, which means that Northwestern football players are seen as employees rather than student-athletes, and that they can form a union.
The announcement has expanded the long-running conversation regarding student-athlete compensation. The CAPA has many stated goals unrelated to compensation -- including reform in brain trauma study/prevention, but many people have used Wednesday's news as an opportunity to weight in on "pay for play."
Former Buckeyes wide receiver Corey Brown and safety Christian Bryant discussed the issue with Cleveland.com during preparation for the 2014 NFL Draft. Brown said that playing football "felt like more of a job" after Urban Meyer's arrival in 2012 and thinks that the school should share some of the wealth generated by the football program.
"It probably won't happen anytime soon," Brown said in the interview before the Northwestern ruling, "but we all feel like people should be getting paid. As much money as Ohio State makes per game, a little extra per diem or anything … that wouldn't hurt. We all feel the same way."
"Almost everybody I would say believes that we should get paid," said former safety Christian Bryant, who, like Brown, was a senior and a captain last season. "People who don't play a sport, I feel like their argument would be they get a scholarship to a university. That's fine and dandy.
"Still, the amount of money that's made for the university, that collegiate athletes are making for the university, that isn't shared to the collegiate athlete … I feel like that rule will definitely be changed in the next five years."
Wednesday's ruling will only gives the CAPA the opportunity to form a union at Northwestern, and there is no plan in motion to continue the movement at other schools. Romogi Huma, president of the CAPA, told CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler that the group wants players to negotiate with schools in a collective bargaining situation.
"Typically it would be representatives from the union itself and Kain and a couple of player reps, they would come on, and try to negotiate," Huma told CBSSports.com. "Sitting across the table with the athletic director and compliance officer and probably whoever handles issues."
Northwestern plans to appeal the ruling and the NCAA issued a statement strongly disagreeing with "the notion that student-athletes are employees."