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Northwestern asks NLRB to overturn ruling

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer

Northwestern has officially asked the National Labor Relations Board to overturn its regional director's ruling on football player's unionization in March. The ruling designated Northwestern football players as employees of the university, and gave them the right to form a union.

Northwestern called the decision "unprecedented" and that the regional director "overlooked or ignored key evidence that Northwestern presented showing that its student-athletes are primarily students, not employees."

“Northwestern presented overwhelming evidence establishing that its athletic program is fully integrated with its academic mission, and that it treats its athletes as students first,” the brief states. “Based on the testimony of a single player, the Regional Director described Northwestern's football program in a way that is unrecognizable from the evidence actually presented at the hearing.

“Intercollegiate athletics at Northwestern are inextricably linked to the educational mission of the University, and represent just one of the 480 co-curricular activities that Northwestern offers its students for the purpose of providing the broadest educational experience available. Northwestern views participation in intercollegiate athletics as part of the educational process."

The entire brief can be read here.

Northwestern players will vote whether or not to form a union on April 25.

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