Higher Education, Human Resources, and Law

State bans college athletes from unionizing

January 1, 2015
| By AP |
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State bans college athletes from unionizing
The WMU Broncos football team practices at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo. Photo via wikimedia.org

LANSING — Governor Rick Snyder has signed a law prohibiting college athletes at public universities from unionizing.

The measure blocks collective bargaining for university athletes by saying they aren't public employees.

Snyder's office said this week that the law ensures college athletes are students "first and foremost."

It's a pre-emptive move after Northwestern University football players held a secret vote in April on whether to unionize at the private school in Evanston, Ill.

There are no reports of such efforts at any Michigan public or private university.

Major college sports conferences and the NCAA have spoken out against unionization.

Michigan is the second state to respond after Northwestern players were allowed to vote on union representation.

The votes have not been counted, while the National Labor Relations Board considers a legal challenge.

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