Athletes’ union criticizes Northwestern appeal

WASHINGTON – The College Athletes Players Association is criticizing Northwestern University's argument for overturning a ruling that would allow the school's football players to unionize.

Northwestern is appealing a ruling by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board who said that the school's football players are employees under federal law and thus entitled to unionize.

CAPA says Northwestern "has not established grounds for review of the regional director's factfinding." Wednesday's filing also attacks other parts of the appeal.

The players are set to vote by secret ballot April 25 on whether to form a union. CAPA would represent them.

The Evanston, Ill.-based university argues in the appeal that its athletic program "is fully integrated with its academic mission, and that it treats its athletes as students first."

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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Northwestern players want union

Kain Colter displayed APU on his uniform to draw attention to the NCPA movement.
(USATSI)Kain Colter displayed APU on his uniform during the season to draw attention to the NCPA movement. (USATSI)
Fowler: Long ignored by NCAA, players ready for a fight Kain Colter and a group of Northwestern players are beginning the process of forming a labor union to represent college athletes.

According to ESPN's Outside the Lines, Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of the players with the National Labor Relations Board.

If the group is certified by the NLRB, it will be called the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA). Huma, Colter and former UMass basketball player Luke Bonner created the group with support from the United Steelworkers. More details, via OTL:

"This is about finally giving college athletes a seat at the table, " said Huma, a former UCLA linebacker, who created the NCPA as an advocacy group in 2001. "Athletes deserve an equal voice when it comes to their physical, academic and financial protections. "

Huma told "Outside The Lines" that the move to unionize players at Northwestern started with quarterback Kain Colter, who reached out to him last spring and asked for help in giving athletes representation in their effort to improve the conditions under which they play NCAA sports. Colter became a leading voice in regular NCPA-organized conference calls among players from around the country.

Huma, Colter and the NCPA organized the "All Players United" movement in the 2013 season that resulted in several players from Northwestern, Georgia and Georgia Tech displaying #APU on their uniforms.

Huma told OTL that the goals of CAPA will be the same as the NCPA; looking for representation in the decision-making process of college athletics to improve conditions for student-athletes. The group has advocated for multi-year scholarships and has called for guaranteed scholarships for players who can no longer compete due to injury or medical issues.

"A lot of people will think this is all about money; it's not, " Colter told the

Chicago Tribune

on Tuesday morning. "We're asking for a seat at the table to get our voice heard. "


Colter to Trib on unionizing: “We're not expecting a decision to be made right away. It might.. go all the way to the Supreme Court. ”

— Teddy Greenstein (@TeddyGreenstein) January 28, 2014


Leaders of the NCPA and CAPA will hold a press conference Tuesday in downtown Chicago to discuss the petition and unionization efforts.


According to NCPAnow. org, the group has 11 specific goals.

1. Minimize college athletes' brain trauma risks.

2. Raise the scholarship amount.

4. Increase graduation rates.


5. Protect educational opportunities for student-athletes in good standing.


6. Prohibit universities from using a permanent injury suffered during athletics as a reason to reduce/eliminate a scholarship.

7. Establish and enforce uniform safety guidelines in all sports to help prevent serious injuries and avoidable deaths.

8. Eliminate restrictions on legitimate employment and players ability to directly benefit from commercial opportunities.

9. Prohibit the punishment of college athletes that have not committed a violation.

10. Guarantee that college athletes are granted an athletic release from their university if they wish to transfer schools.

11. Allow college athletes of all sports the ability to transfer schools one time without punishment.

Previously, the NCPA flew a banner over the Rose Bowl before the BCS National Championship game that read "All Players United for Concussion Reform. Wake Up NCAA! "

The NCAA responded Tuesday, in a statement from Donald Remy, chief legal officer: "This union-backed attempt to turn student-athletes into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education. Student-athletes are not employees, and their participation in college sports is voluntary. We stand for all student-athletes, not just those the unions want to professionalize.

"Many student athletes are provided scholarships and many other benefits for their participation. There is no employment relationship between the NCAA, its affiliated institutions or student-athletes.

"Student-athletes are not employees within any definition of the National Labor Relations Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act. We are confident the National Labor Relations Board will find in our favor, as there is no right to organize student-athletes. "

Northwestern subsequently issued its own statement, saying in part: "We are pleased to note that the Northwestern students involved in this effort emphasized that they are not unhappy with the University, the football program or their treatment here, but are raising the concerns because of the importance of these issues nationally.

"Northwestern believes that our student-athletes are not employees and collective bargaining is therefore not the appropriate method to address these concerns. However, we agree that the health and academic issues being raised by our student-athletes and others are important ones that deserve further consideration. "

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Northwestern apologizes for uniform misconception (Yahoo Sports)


EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) – Northwestern is apologizing for any misconceptions about uniforms it plans to wear against Michigan next week.

The Wildcats will trade their familiar purple for the red, white and blue when they host the Wolverines on Nov. 16 to honor the Wounded Warrior Project, which supports wounded service members. The Under Armour jerseys with the stars and stripes will be auctioned off after the game, with all proceeds going to the Project.

The uniforms show what to some look like blood stains on a flag. Northwestern spokesman Paul Kennedy said Monday it’s a ”distressed pattern on both the stars and stripes that was inspired by the appearance of a flag that has flown proudly over a long period of time” and apologized ”for any misinterpretation.” He added Boston College used a similar design last year.

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Did Northwestern fake injuries at Cal? Sonny Dykes takes the high road

(USA Right this moment Sports activities Images)

If Cal coach Sonny Dykes believes Northwestern defenders were faking accidents in the second half of Saturday night time’s sport to slow down his offense, he wasn’t prepared to say so postgame, but he got here close.

Northwestern beat Cal forty four-30 in a recreation that featured Cal running ninety nine offensive plays in its up-tempo offense.

At instances, Dykes appeared visibly frustrated on the sidelines as Northwestern players had been tended to on the field by the Northwestern medical staff.

“It affected it a lot,” Dykes stated of how the rash of Northwestern accidents affected his offense. “It was just unusual. It appeared like each time we got a first down they had an damage. I hadn’t seen that, wasn’t expecting to see that, was dissatisfied that I noticed that. But that’s the way it goes typically.”

A reporter advised that Cal fans within the stands appeared to imagine Northwestern was faking accidents and asked the first-yr Cal coach if he believed that was true.

“It’s most likely better that I don’t say,” Dykes said.

That in all probability won’t go over well with Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald who bristled on the notion his gamers had been faking accidents to slow down the Bears.

“If anyone have been to query the integrity of myself, our program or our gamers, I question theirs,” Fitzgerald advised the Chicago Solar-Times. “So that’s all I say. Our guys get dinged up. They get dinged up, they’re instructed to go down. You’ve by no means walked in and heard me say that ever, have you? I have a tough time with that. But if our guys get dinged up, they’re instructed to go down not hobble of to the sideline.”

Dykes didn’t make an enormous deal out of the state of affairs and gave Northwestern loads of credit in his postgame comments. He did not deal with the subject till he was asked about it 7 minutes into his press conference.

Meanwhile, Cal followers shared their disapproval on Twitter.

The odd factor about all this is that Cal, underneath former coach Jeff Tedford, was accused of doing the same factor three years in the past in a low-scoring sport towards Oregon.