Right Field

Northwestern Football Players Voting Today on Unionization

But nobody will know how they voted. AP:

Northwestern football players cast secret ballots Friday in an on-campus hall adjacent to their home stadium on whether to form the nation’s first union for college athletes.

Just don’t expect results any time soon.

After the vote, the ballot boxes will be sealed for weeks or months — perhaps even years — as an appeal by the Evanston-based university runs its course.

The full National Labor Relations Board agreed Thursday to hear the school’s appeal of a regional director’s March ruling that the players are employees and as such can unionize, triggering a rule that the ballots be impounded.

Last month’s decision by the Chicago-area head of the NLRB, Peter Ohr, sent shockwaves through the world of college sports, prompting sharp criticism from Northwestern and college athletic departments nationwide.

The major outstanding issue, to me, is if the scholarship money would be taxed. As that’s an unknown, I’m not sure how valid this vote will be either way. 

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