- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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The union movement is under way in college football, and a Big Ten team is at the center of it. Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter and a group of Wildcats players made major news Tuesday by announcing their intention of being represented by a labor union and being recognized as employees of universities rather than student-athletes.
A petition has been filed on behalf of the players with a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. Colter last spring reached out to Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, asking how players could gain better representation and improved conditions for their athletic service to schools. Colter made it clear that financial compensation isn't the top priority of the players, who want to ensure their football-related medical expenses are covered after their college careers are over.
Not surprisingly, there has been plenty of reaction to the historic move. Now we want you to weigh in. Today's poll question is: What do you think of the decision by Northwestern players to seek union representation and be recognized as university employees?
1. Agree. These players generate millions for the school and should have a greater voice in key areas such as medical coverage for long-term health problems stemming from football.
2. Disagree. Players receive free education and other perks from the school, and they play sports voluntarily, aware of the injury risks before they take the field.
3. Players deserve more protections and possibly more from their scholarships, but they're not university employees and shouldn't receive employee privileges such as collective bargaining.
Where do you stand on this topic? Time to vote.
4dDan Murphy and Austin Ward