News & Commentary

April 6, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reports that, during his address to the Final Four, the president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) acknowledged that the organization needs to change, but said that a union of college athletes is a “grossly inappropriate solution.” This is a direct response to a recent ruling by the regional director of the NLRB stating that Northwestern scholarship football players are employees and have the right to unionize and bargain collectively with the university. 

The Associated Press reports that the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) delegates have elected a new president, Karen Magee. Magee is a veteran teacher from Harrison. The central issues in the election were how the union should respond to the new Common Core curriculum, as well as how the union should approach its relationship with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Huffington Post reports that Northwestern’s football coach, Pat Fitzgerald, is urging players to vote against unionization. Fitzgerald told the public that he believes it is in his team’s best interested to vote no because all of the players’ needs can be handled with communication and trust. Fitzgerald sent letters to the players and their parents prior to addressing them in person last Wednesday. The team is scheduled to conduct a secret-ballot vote on forming a union to collectively bargain with the university on April 25th. Meanwhile, Northwestern plans to appeal the regional NLRB decision to the national board in Washington. 

The Boston Herald reports that the president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO is urging Wynn Resorts to sign a pledge to stay neutral in any future elections that would decide which unions represent workers in its casinos. Wynn previously reached a “harmony agreement” with the union organizations who built the casino.

San Francisco Chronicle article discusses the effect of the recent Northwestern NLRB decision on Title IX and non-revenue sports. The article postulates that, if college sports evolve into a world where certain star athletes are able to obtain their market value, then this would further the gender inequity present in college athletes by disproportionately benefiting male athletes. 

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