Ohio legislators look to prohibit college athletes from becoming employees

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 3: The Ohio State Buckeyes enter the field for their game against the Clemson Tigers during the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2014 in Miami, (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Ohio is looking to stop college athlete unionization before it even starts.

Under a proposed state law, college athletes in Ohio would not be considered employees thus leaving them unable to unionize.

The proposal comes on the heels of the National Labor Relations Board ruling that Northwestern college football players were employees of the university and able to unionize. The team will vote on whether to form a union at the end of the month.

The legislative committee introduced the Republican-backed bill during Monday’s budget review. Ohio is the first state to take a preemptive step toward discouraging unionization among college athletes at state institutions. It’s possible other states could follow suit depending on the way Northwestern’s vote plays out.

“I think this is a statement of what we all thought is obvious, and that is athletes are not employees of their university," said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Ron Amstutz, a Wooster Republican.

On Sunday, NCAA president Mark Emmert told media at the Final Four he didn’t support unionization and that he didn’t believe it was the key to solving lingering issues in college athletics. He did agree, though, that changes did need to be made and that athletes should have a greater voice in the process.

- - - - - - -

Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter