As the National Labor Relations Board decision in their favor heads to an appeal, the leaders of the Northwestern players aren't waiting around.
Ramogi Huma, the president of the College Athletes Players' Association, and former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter are going to Washington D.C. and will meet with undisclosed lawmakers on Wednesday and Thursday.
CAPA helped the players with the movement.
"We want them to understand why we're doing what we're doing," Huma told ESPN's Outside the Lines. "Obviously, Congress has the power to affect conditions for college athletes as well, and we want to correct some of the false statements that have been made about what we're trying to do."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-Nev.), said he supports the players' efforts. The regional office of the NLRB in Chicago ruled Wednesday that scholarship players were employees of the school and therefore allowed to form a union. Northwestern is appealing the decision.
“Of course they should be able to organize," Reid told the Washington Post on Thursday. "The way these people are treated by the NCAA and the universities themselves is really unpardonable, and I wish them well. I’ll do anything I can to help.”
But we must remember that this is Congress and it's the year 2014. Saying that getting something accomplished is easier said than done is an understatement. Case in point, here's the view of Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
"Imagine a university's basketball players striking before a Sweet 16 game demanding shorter practices, bigger dorm rooms, better food and no classes before 11 a.m.," Alexander said. "This is an absurd decision that will destroy intercollegiate athletics as we know it."
The NLRB is an office of the U.S. government and the national appeal will be held in D.C. Until the appeal is decided, the decision is in its hands.
Before the appeal is held, the Northwestern players could hold the vote to form a union. According to OTL, the players have until April 2 to file a list of voters to the NRLB's Chicago office and must file a national "request for review." Then the man who issued Wednesday's ruling, Peter Sung Ohr, could rule that the election could be held in April with the results sealed until the end of the appeal. Or he could postpone the election until the appeals process is over.
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- Kain Colter