Northwestern union reps meet with lawmakers over college athletes’ issues

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Washington, DC, United States (4E Sports) – The leaders of the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) will meet with several Capitol Hill lawmakers to protect the victory they achieved last week.

CAPA president Ramogi Huma told “Outside the Lines” that he and Kain Colter, the former Northwestern quarterback, will be in Washington, D.C., Wednesday and Thursday for informational briefings with an undisclosed set of legislators.

“We want them to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Huma said. “Obviously, Congress has the power to affect conditions for college athletes as well, and we want to correct some of the false statements that have been made about what we’re trying to do.”

The Chicago office of the National Labor Relations Board declared that football players at Northwestern qualify as employees under the definition established by federal labor law.

Strong support came from Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), whose son played soccer at the University of Virginia.

“Of course they should be able to organize. The way these people are treated by the NCAA and the universities themselves is really unpardonable, and I wish them well. I’ll do anything I can to help,” Reid said.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), a former U.S. Department of Education secretary and former president of the University of Tennessee, expressed less enthusiasm with the development.

“Imagine a university’s basketball players striking before a Sweet 16 game demanding shorter practices, bigger dorm rooms, better food and no classes before 11 a.m.,” he said. “This is an absurd decision that will destroy intercollegiate athletics as we know it.”

For now, the matter squarely rests with the NLRB, which has ordered an election among all Northwestern scholarship football players with remaining NCAA eligibility.

The university must file a list of eligible voters by April 2. By April 9, it must file a “request for review” by the five-member NLRB board based in Washington. The university already has stated it will appeal the decision.

From there, Chicago NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr will have a couple of procedural options, both of which could shape the ultimate outcome. He can move ahead as normal with scheduling the election, within a five-day window at the end of April.

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