The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 18th, 2015
The National Labor Relations Board decided on Monday to reject a bid
by football players at Northwestern University to form a union.
More than a year after the five-member board took up the issue, it released a unanimous decision
saying that the board was "declining to assert jurisdiction" in the
case because allowing athletes at a private university to organize would
not "promote stability in labor markets."
The board did not rule on the core issue of whether athletes who receive grant-in-aid scholarships are employees,
seeming to leave open the possibility that other groups of student
athletes could attempt to organize a union. However, experts in labor
law and college athletics say the board was simply dodging a difficult
issue and possibly even making it harder for similar groups to unionize
in the future.