Congressional committee to discuss Northwestern football unionization

Alex Putterman, Sports Editor

Congress is getting involved in the Northwestern football unionization discussion.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will examine the recent National Labor Relations Board decision declaring NU players employees, committee chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) announced Thursday.

“The NLRB’s decision represents a radical departure from long-standing federal labor policies,” Kline said in a news release. “Classifying student athletes as employees threatens to fundamentally alter college sports, as well as reduce education access and opportunity. The committee has a responsibility to thoroughly examine how the NLRB’s decision will affect students and their ability to receive a quality education.”

Kline’s committee will hold a hearing called “Big Labor on College Campuses: Examining the Consequences of Unionizing Student Athletes,” on May 8 in Washington, D.C.

In March, the regional director of Chicago’s branch of the NLRB ruled that NU football players were student athletes and could therefore unionize. The University appealed that decision to the main NLRB office in Washington, but no timetable has been set for the NLRB to hear the appeal.

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