On March 26, 2014, the Regional Director of the Chicago office of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that football players at Northwestern University can hold a vote on whether they want to be represented by a union, the College Athletes Players Association.
Today, that vote was actually held at McGaw Hall on Northwestern University’s campus. But don’t expect a quick result because the ballots may not be counted for weeks, months, years, or ever.
The secret ballots will remain sealed as Northwestern appeals the Regional Director’s determination. If Northwestern is ultimately triumphant in getting the decision reversed, the ballots will likely never be counted.
For those interested in changes for NCAA athletes, I’d recommend keeping a closer eye on the NCAA’s proposals. For example, after University of Connecticut basketball star Shabazz Napier said that “there are nights that I go to bed and I’m starving,” the NCAA announced that it would consider unlimited food for athletes.
With the issue of unionization likely to spend years in litigation, less significant amendments will lead to more immediate changes for student athletes.