User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Board to decide if players are employees

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

CHICAGO (AP) - A federal agency kicked off the first in a series of hearings Wednesday on whether to approve a bid by Northwestern football players to unionize, and both sides acknowledged the key question was whether college athletes should be considered employees.

Advertisement
During a National Labor Relations Board hearing in Chicago, lawyers for the proposed union and the university agreed that if college football players qualify as employees, they can legally form the first-of-its-kind union and if not, they can't.

''That is the key threshold issue,'' university attorney Alex Barbour said.

If the union, called the College Athletes Players Association, or CAPA, eventually gets the green light, advocates says it will provide athletes a vehicle to lobby for financial security and improved safety on the field.

This first attempt is being closely watched, with the expectation that, if it succeeds, other college teams nationwide could quickly follow suit.

The players' attorney John Adam argued his clients met the definition of employees because they put in 40-hour workweeks during the season, are managed by coaches and receive payment in the form of scholarships.

''They are entitled to be represented by a union ... to bring a voice'' to their grievances, he said.

Barbour disagreed. He told the hearing scholarships aren't divvied out as wages.

''Scholarships are for getting an education,'' he said. ''It is not a form of compensation for playing football.''

Supporters stretch the definition of employees too far, he argued. And he said it would raise other questions, including whether walk-ons without scholarships could be in the union.

Wednesday's hearing was meant to identify main points of contention, not to thrash them out in detail. That happens next week with three days of testimony. A decision on whether CAPA can organize could come soon after.

One witness who will testify next week for those petitioning for the union will be Wildcats' outgoing senior quarterback, Kain Colter.

Colter and former UCLA linebacker Ramogi Huma, CAPA's designated president, announced the formation of the union last month. United Steelworkers said they were footing the legal bills.

For now, the push is to unionize athletes at private schools, like Northwestern. Public universities, which are subject to different regulations, could follow later

After Wednesday's hearing, which lasted less than an hour, Northwestern distributed a statement reiterating its opposition to the union at the Evanston, Ill.-based school.

''We do not regard, and have never regarded, our football program as a commercial enterprise,'' said Alan K. Cubbage, the vice president for university relations.

But Adam told reporters after the hearing that football players generate hundreds of millions of dollars for schools annually. So, he said, universities' insistence on calling them ''student athletes'' was inaccurate.

''This is a myth that we intend to demolish,'' he said.

---

Follow Michael Tarm at https://twitter.com/mtarm

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
News: 2016 Heisman Betting Odds
News: Nugget posts 2016 Win Totals
Pitt RB Conner says he is cancer-free
Plenty of must-see FCS matchups
Davidson seeks continued improvement
Suit seeks testimony from Mack Brown
Former Mizzou QB Mauk signs with EKU
Ex-SC starting QB Mitch to transfer
West Virginia expects Grier to start 2017
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
Live Odds
2015 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2379
Scott Pritchard + 1370
Marc Lawrence + 1207
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 700
Pat Hawkins + 497
Kyle Hunter + 395
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 64 %
Paul Bovi 58 %
Marc Lawrence 58 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Greg Smith + 1775
Kevin Rogers + 1190
Brian Edwards + 856
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1596
James Manos + 1448
Kyle Hunter + 1332
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2072
Bruce Marshall + 1842
Paul Bovi + 1307
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership