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College presidents say no to unions for athletes

Report: Florida is Number 1 State for Higher Education
Posted at 9:27 AM, Jul 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-14 10:26:59-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — A national organization representing college and university presidents is disputing a federal ruling that students who receive college athletic scholarships are essentially employees of their schools and thus entitled to join unions and exercise collective-bargaining rights.

Student-athletes participate for their own benefit; they do not render services for compensation, said the 1,800 member American Council on Education.

Ahead of a midnight deadline, the council filed a 30-page friend-of-the court brief taking strong issue with the ruling earlier this year by a National Labor Relations Board regional director that allows college athletes at Northwestern University to unionize.

The full labor board is weighing the case.

In its own brief, the fledgling College Athletes Players Association argues that Northwestern football is a commercial enterprise from which the university derives substantial financial benefits.