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House committee to hold hearing concerning Northwestern unionization ruling

Chairman John Kline
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Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., speaks during the House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on 'Protecting Students and Teachers: A Discussion on School Safety,' focussing on school safety issues in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Connecticut. (Photo by Bill Clark/Getty Images)

The National Labor Relations Board decision to allow football players at Northwestern to unionize has piqued the interest of Congress.

That decision, which classified student-athletes as employees, will be the subject of a May 8 hearing from the Education and Workforce Committee titled “Big Labor on College Campuses: Examining the Consequences of Unionizing Student Athletes,” according to a relase.

Committee chairman John Kline announced the hearing Thursday.

“The NLRB’s decision represents a radical departure from longstanding federal labor policies,” Kline (R-Minn.) said. “Classifying student-athletes as employees threatens to fundamentally alter college sports, as well as reduce education access and opportunity. The committee has a responsibility to thoroughly examine how the NLRB’s decision will affect students and their ability to receive a quality education.”

Northwestern players cast their votes on whether or not to form a union on April 25 and a ruling could take months to be revealed. Only the team’s current 76 scholarship players were eligible to vote.

The school is appealing the decision to the NLRB national office. As a result of the appeal, the player ballots have been impounded and likely will not be counted until the full NLRB board reviews the decision and issues their own decision on the matter.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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