Board dismisses ruling to allow college athletes to unionize
CHICAGO (AP) - The National Labor Relations Board on Monday threw out a historic ruling that gave Northwestern University football players the go-ahead to form the nation's first college athletes' union, saying the prospect of union and nonunion teams could throw off the competitive balance in college football.
The decision dismissed a March 2014 decision by a regional NLRB director in Chicago who said that the football players are effectively school employees and entitled to organize. Monday's decision did not directly address the question of whether the players are employees.
The unanimous ruling by the five-member National Labor Relations Board concludes that letting Northwestern football players unionize could lead to different standards at different schools - from the amount of money players receive to the amount of time they can practice. That would, it says, create the competitive imbalances.