A Brief View of the NLRB Region 13’s Finding that Scholarship Athletes Can Form A Union

The decision to allow Northweastern University scholarship football players to form a union by NLRB Region 13’s DIrector, simply is his examination of the rules of employement and applying them to the facts of the relationship between the players and Northwestern University. The rules say that if you have control over the means, methods and times of employment, the actors are employees for NLRB purposes and are eligible to form a union.  This doesn”t mean they will, it says they can.

Now there needs to be an election where one plus half of the players must vote to certify the union. I doubt they will because there is great danger to doing so and these dangers will be well explained to them by Northwestern and others before the election will take place.

For example, if their scholarships are found to be income to employees and not a grant to a student athlete, it becomes taxable. That is about $70,000 in taxable income to each player. Then there is the problem of being compensated for playing. That makes them professionals by NCAA standards and they are not eligible for scholarships.  If they want to go to college, they can pay for it.

There are other problems with this ruling that simply was not thought about for any length by the Director, but those cited above are suffecient to defeat the insane quest for a union by the Northwestern football players.  

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