Skip Oliva on Letting College Football Players Unionize


College football

A National Labor Relations Board official has given the green light to Northwestern University football players to form a union. The March 26 decision by the NLRB's Chicago regional director, Peter Sung Ohr, held that scholarship football players are "employees" for purposes of federal labor law. While Ohr's decision is hardly the final word on this issue, it does accelerate the legal and political battle against the NCAA and its century-old amateurism rules. But, warns Skip Oliva, as long as the majority of major football schools are state-run universities, the question of player unionization will likely be decided on political rather than strictly legal grounds.