NLRB punts on football players

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The National Labor Relations Board on Monday declined to assert jurisdiction over whether football players at Northwestern University may form a union.

The action, while narrow, effectively reverses a ruling 16 months ago by the NLRB’s Chicago regional office saying that, under the National Labor Relations Act, scholarship football players at private universities are employees.”

A footnote in the decision says that the NLRB considers Northwestern football players different from graduate employees in the private sector, as the football players’ activities are “unrelated to their court of study or educational programs.”

For further reading: University of Michigan President James Duderstadt’s “Intercollegiate Athletics and the American University.”