NLRB Dismisses Case to Unionize Student Athletes


The U.S. National Labor Relations Board said on Monday it dismissed a case brought by football players at Northwestern University seeking to unionize, arguing it did not have jurisdiction over state-run colleges and universities.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) currently prohibits players from earning income beyond their academic scholarships and nominal stipends that cover the cost of college attendance. But a group of players brought a case to the board seeking a union to negotiate for a share in the profits from ticket sales, television contracts and licensing deals. While Northwestern University is not state-run, the board said it did not want to single out just one team.

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"As the NCAA and conference maintain substantial control over individual teams, the Board held that asserting jurisdiction over a single team would not promote stability in labor relations across the league," the five-member board said in a unanimous decision.