Pat Fitzgerald doesn't want his players to unionize

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Pat Fitzgerald Northwestern union
Pat Fitzgerald is encouraging his players to vote against a union. (USATSI)

In roughly three weeks Northwestern players will vote on whether or not to form a union. How the players will vote remains to be seen, but if they listen to their coach, Pat Fitzgerald, they'll be voting against it.

Fitzgerald has been trying to provide his players with as much information as possible about what forming a union would mean, and he believes the best thing for his team is to vote "no" on the union.

“We want to make sure that they have all the information, so that's a process we're starting to work through right now," Fitzgerald told Big Ten Network. "I'm honored to have that opportunity with our guys and we'll work through it day by day.”

“I'm very proud of them for trying to work for national change, I'm incredibly proud of them – I've been greatly outspoken about that. My job is to help educate them, my staff's job is to help educate them, our athletic department our university, and to find other folks who can tell them what this means, potentially.”

It sounds like Northwestern's players are listening to their coach, too. Wide receiver Kyle Prater told the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein he “I back [Fitzgerald] up 100 percent. And I think my teammates do as well.”

The NLRB ruled in favor of Northwestern players' right to form a union in March, a decision Northwestern quickly appealed. Earlier Saturday Tim Waters, a union organizer from the United Steelworkers -- which supports the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) and the Northwestern union movement -- said that players from other schools have already expressed interest in forming their own union.

Northwestern's players are scheduled to vote on April 25.

 
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