The NLRB has set April 25 as election day for the scholarship athletes on the Northwestern football team to vote on whether they wish to be represented by the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA). That date could be postponed after Northwestern appeals the decision of the NLRB’s Regional Director in Chicago to set CAPA’s petition for an election by the players. In that decision one week ago, the Regional Director ruled that he believed the players were athletes and thus covered by the NLRA. Though Northwestern immediately said it would appeal the decision, it has not yet done so. The appeal must be filed no later than April 9.
Northwestern football is now in the middle of Spring Practice and according to coverage in the Chicago Tribune, the players are mum about their intentions and feelings on the unionization petition. Though Kain Colter, ex-NU quarterback and central organizer of the unionization campaign, said previously that virtually all of the scholarship athletes sighed cards in support of the effort, the law provides that these “employees” can still vote against representation even if they signed an authorization card.