Inside Higher Ed
August 18th, 2015
The National Labor Relations Board on Monday declined to assert jurisdiction over whether football players at Northwestern University may form a union.
The NLRB's vaguely written decision ends the drive to unionize at
Northwestern, but left higher education, sports and labor experts
divided on whether the ruling kills all efforts to unionize college
football or just slows the movement down. In its order, the NLRB stated
that it was not judging the merits of the players’ argument, and that
the board could later return to the issue.
"The board went to great lengths to make sure the decision is very
much limited in this instance to Northwestern and to college football
players," said Dan Johns, a lawyer who leads Ballard Spahr's Higher Education Group
and who specializes in labor organizing efforts at colleges. "But the
board's underlying reasoning here makes it difficult to see another team