Union leader: 'We've been contacted by a number of players'

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Dodd: Player welfare can't be ignored | Fowler: Next step for the players

Now that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that Northwestern football players have the right to form a union, players from other universities are interested in getting the players' rights movement started at their own schools.

Tim Waters, a union organizer from the United Steelworkers -- which supports the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) and the Northwestern union movement -- told the Associated Press that it was was too early to reveal the names of the players interested or schools that could be involved.

"We're not giving out who it is or who they are, but the answer is yes," Waters said Friday via the Associated Press. "There's a lot of excitement out there. We've been contacted by a number of players."

Northwestern players will vote on April 25 to decide whether they will become the first union in college athletics.

Ramogi Huma, president of the CAPA, has helped orchestrate conference calls with players from across the country to discuss the union movement and unite individuals looking to make a difference. Zach Bohannon, a Wisconsin basketball player, spoke about the calls this week at the Final 4.

"I don't know exactly how many there were. But on average on a weekly call there were probably 10 or 20, at least," said Zach Bohannon, a reserve on the team. "So it was definitely a unique experience just hearing the concerns that players all over the country had, and then just voicing my opinion."

Huma 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."

 
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