Hearing on athletes' union worries activist - New York News

Hearing on athletes' union worries activist

Posted: Updated:
By MICHAEL TARM
Associated Press

   CHICAGO (AP) -- A former linebacker leading the drive to form the nation's first union for college athletes said Wednesday he fears a congressional hearing could be a step toward legislative barriers that would thwart unionization.
 
   The hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Washington, D.C., before the House Education and the Workforce Committee. It comes in the wake of a landmark ruling by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board that football players at Northwestern University are employees under U.S. law and can therefore unionize.
 
   The Evanston, Illinois, school has appealed the ruling, saying college athletes are not employees and such a chance would change the very landscape of amateur athletics in the United States.
 
   The House committee shouldn't bolster those anti-union views, said Ramogi Huma, president of the College Athletes Players Association that's seeking to represent the Wildcats.
 
   "CAPA is concerned that this hearing has been called in an attempt to legitimize the NCAA's illegitimate effort to eliminate college athletes' rights," the former UCLA player said. He added the NCAA is "working to strip college athletes of their newly asserted rights."
 
   Northwestern players cast ballots April 25 on whether to unionize. But the labor agency sealed the ballot boxes until the school's appeal plays out.
 
   The Minnesota Republican who will chair Thursday's hearing, John Kline, has made clear he thinks the NLRB's finding was wrong.
 
   "Classifying student athletes as employees threatens to fundamentally alter college sports," he said in a statement last week announcing the hearing. He called the ruling "a radical departure from longstanding federal labor policies."
 
   Five witnesses are scheduled to testify, including Ken Starr, Baylor University's president, and Bernard Muir, athletic director at Stanford University. No one from Northwestern or from the would-be union was on the witness list.  
 
   Kline's spokesman, Brian Newell, said the hearing wasn't designed to lead to any legislative proposal.  
 
   "This is basically a fact-finding hearing, an opportunity to hear from stakeholders," he said.
 
   The case is being closely watched, though the NLRB ruling would only apply to Northwestern, a private school. Public universities are subject to state labor laws.
 
   New York labor attorney Joseph Farelli said anti-union lawmakers could introduce a bill stating explicitly that the National Labor Relations Act can't be applied to college athletes. But he said all other attempts to significantly alter the act have failed over the last 50 years.
 
   "So the question becomes -- is there support in Congress to amend it now?" he said. "I think the short answer is, no."
 
   ------
 
   Follow Michael Tarm at https://twitter.com/mtarm

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow Us!

Share Your Sports Photos & Video

Submit Your Sports Photos
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:20:23 GMT
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
  • Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:00:24 GMT
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a...
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
  • Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:15 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:15:54 GMT

    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.


    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.



Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices