ESPN is reporting that “the State Employees Association of North Carolina’s governing board voted Friday to open the group’s membership to athletes at the state’s 17 public campuses, which would include Atlantic Coast Conference members North Carolina and North Carolina State.”  It was unclear whether this move would open the doors to SEANC actually bargaining on behalf of any public university athletes who decided to join.  A union spokesperson said, “What the group has definitively decided is to change our own membership rules to allow them to join,” but added, that “everything beyond that is really in a planning and development stage.”

This comes on the heels of the NLRB holding an election at Northwestern University to determine whether scholarship football players desired to be represented by a union.  The ballots have been impounded pending ongoing appeals over the decision to conduct an election.  While the Northwestern case made clear its analysis applied only to private universities, other groups and unions could take this issue to the State level where laws vary greatly on whether public university employees can unionize.

The full ESPN story can be found here.