NCAA responds to Northwestern's attempt to unionize

NCAA responds to Northwestern's attempt to unionize
January 28, 2014, 12:45 pm
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Vinnie Duber

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The NCAA has responded in the wake of an announcement by Northwestern football players that they attempt to seek representation in a college-athlete union.

NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy released this statement on the NCAA's website:

"This union-backed attempt to turn student-athletes into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education. Student-athletes are not employees, and their participation in college sports is voluntary. We stand for all student-athletes, not just those the unions want to professionalize.

"Many student athletes are provided scholarships and many other benefits for their participation. There is no employment relationship between the NCAA, its affiliated institutions or student-athletes.

"Student-athletes are not employees within any definition of the National Labor Relations Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act. We are confident the National Labor Relations Board will find in our favor, as there is no right to organize student-athletes."

[MORE: Led by Kain Colter, Northwestern players petition to form union]

An ESPN report Tuesday indicated an "overwhelming majority" of Northwestern football players signed union cards and that a petition was being filed with the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago. Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, speaking on behalf of the players, teamed with the National College Players Association to form the College Athletes Players Association, the would-be union that would need to be recognized by the board.