Northwestern players push for union
January, 28, 2014
By Brian Bennett | ESPNChicago.com
Remember back in September when Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter wore a wristband promoting the "All Players United" movement? It was mostly a symbolic protest that Colter and other players across the country staged that day to raise issues about playing conditions for student-athletes.
Well, the movement isn't stopping there. ESPN's "Outside the Lines" is reporting that Northwestern players, led by Colter, have taken steps to be formally represented by a labor union. A group of Wildcats players filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board and received the backing of the United Steelworkers Union.
Tom Farrey reports that at least 30 percent of the members of a group would have to sign union cards for the NLRB to consider such a petition. Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association and a former UCLA linebacker who filed the petition on behalf of the Northwestern players, said an "overwhelming majority" of the Wildcats' 85 scholarship players signed cards.
Some of the goals of the NCPA include guaranteed scholarships in case of injuries and trust funds that players could access after their NCAA eligibility expires to finish their degrees.
A group including Colter and Huma has a press conference scheduled in downtown Chicago at 12:30 p.m. ET Tuesday. We'll have more on this story as it develops, but it's obviously a fascinating move by Northwestern players that could lead to major changes in college sports.