- Northwestern players vote on union...Northwestern football players cast secret ballots Friday on whether to unionize, an unprecedented event in collegiate athletics. It may take several weeks, months or even years before the results are known. The ballot boxes will be sealed as the university legally appeals the team's unionization effort. The National Labor Relations Board agreed Thursday to allow Northwestern's appeal of a regional director's March ruling that players are employees and can form a union. The ballots will be sealed until the appeal process is finalized. A long court battled could ensue after that.
Supporters say unionizing would help college athletes receive improved compensation and medical care for injuries, among other benefits. "You got to give the people what they want!" one player shouted at reporters, who were forced to keep a distance during the voting, according the Associated Press. The NLRB ruling only applies to private universities but it was viewed as a step toward the end of traditional student athletics. The NCAA, Northwestern and many college athletic departments, nationally, have been critical of the unionization effort. Northwestern's 76 football players under scholarship were eligible to vote. - The Sports Xchange