Are College Football Players Employees, Eligible To Unionize?

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

A federal agency is meeting in Chicago to consider whether college football players qualify as employees and therefore eligible to form a union.

At the National Labor Relations Board's initial hearing Wednesday, lawyers for Northwestern football players said the decisive question is whether the athletes are considered employees. If so, the lawyers argued, they should be allowed to legally unionize.

Players' attorney John Adam says his clients are employees because they work at football 40 hours a week, are managed by coaches and receive payment in the form of scholarships.

Northwestern attorney Alex Barbour disagreed, saying scholarships are payment for education, not football services.

There will be three days of testimony. Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter is the main witness for the players.

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