Speed Reads


College athletes just won a huge victory that puts them one step closer to unionization


College athletes: 1. NCAA: 0.

In a potentially precedent-setting ruling, the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday sided with the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) in ruling that Northwestern football players are school employees and can unionize. The CAPA — led by Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter — argued earlier this year that student athletes should be treated as employees because they earn money for their colleges and are contractually tied, via scholarships, to them. And NLRB Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr agreed, writing that players who receive scholarships "are subject to the employer's control and are therefore employees."

The ruling only applies to Northwestern, though it could pave the way for athletes at other colleges to follow suit and ultimately crumble the NCAA's bogus student-athlete model. However, Northwestern has already said it will appeal the decision, which is no surprise. As we and many others have written before, colleges and the NCAA make a humongous pile of cash off collegiate athletics while players get zilch; the NCAA, ostensibly a non-profit, earned an incredible $872 million in revenue in 2012. Allowing players to unionize would be a direct threat to the cartel of college sports that exploits students and gives them no say.