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NCAA, Northwestern file briefs opposing player unions

Jul 4, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

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With a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional director ruling in March that Northwestern football players could declare themselves as employees, thus allowing them to take the next step in forming a union if they so choose, many have taken steps to appeal the decision. One such group is the NCAA (for obvious reasons), with the governing body filing an amicus brief with the NLRB on Thursday.

“Over past 70 years, more than a million student-athletes have received athletics scholarships, and no legal entity has determined that these scholarships transform students into employees under the National Labor Relations Act,” Donald Remy, NCAA chief legal officer, said in the release.

“There is no legitimate reason that they should be considered such today. While there certainly are improvements to be made to the college model of sports, transforming the relationship between students and their university to an employment relationship is not the answer.”

Northwestern and a group of six Congressmen also filed briefs opposing the regional director’s decision on Thursday, and the move comes less than a week before members of the United States Senate hold a meeting on the state of collegiate athletics. One would imagine that the case of the Northwestern football team would be discussed.

The brief filed by the NCAA can be read here.

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