Northwestern University football team players, under the tutelage of a former quarterback, have mostly all signed a petition trying to get safeguards from a solid law passed some time ago, the National Labor Relations Act. What that would mean is that they would be given official recognition as employees, and not just as college athletes.
Ramogi Human, president of the College Athlete Players Association, said that most of the team have signed cards that support a petition to be given union representation and labor rights through CAPA.
What Does The Director Of Athletics Say About It?
The director of athletics for Northwestern, Jim Philips, wrote in a statement released yesterday that he is proud of his players. He said that the school tells them to be independent leaders and be positive role models for their local communities, the United States as a whole, and the whole world. He said that their action here demonstrated that principle.
He also said, on the other hand, that Northwestern believes that its student-athletes are not, in fact, employees, and that collective bargaining is not the right method to address these issues. He also went on to say that the university agrees that the academic and health issues raised by the student-athletes are significant ones that merit further attention.
What Effects Would This Unionizing Action Have?
Northwestern is a private institution, and the NLRB regulates its employees. He said that if CAPA’s petition is granted, then every Division 1 basketball player and college athlete at the private institutions would be designated as an employee and would be able to become a part of the CAPA.
One of the biggest objectives of organizing and seeking labor union protection is getting better coverage and medical protections for student-athletes.
What Does The NCAA Have To Say About It?
The NCAA said that this attempt by unions to morph student-athletes into employees would undermine the whole intent of college: getting an education. The organization said that student-athletes are in no ways employees, and that their college sports participation is completely voluntary. They said that they stand up for all student-athletes, not just the ones that the unions want to professionalize.
The statement went on to say that student-athletes are in no way employees within any interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act or the National Labor Relations Act.
The NCAA said that they were confident that the National Labor Relations Board would rule in their favor, because there is no legal justification to organize or unionize student-athletes.
What Did The Statement Issued By Northwestern Players Say?
The statement issued by Northwestern players said that they were grateful for the chance to play football at the college, but that they had to secure and keep serious safeguards by standing up for the rights granted to them under the existing laws. They said that they were not taking the measures because of any mistreatment they suffered. They said, however, that they wanted to get rid of unjust NCAA rules that would create financial, academic, or physical problems for college athletes all across the United States.