The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board this aftenoon issued a ruling that football players at Northwestern University are employees of the school and entitled to unionize.
Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr ordered that an election be held to determine whether the football players wish to be represented by the College Athletes Players Association for purposes of collective bargaining.
Northwestern immediately issued a statement saying it plans to appeal the decision to the full National Labor Relations Board in Washington.
University spokesman Alan Cubbage said the university "believes strongly that our student-athletes are not employees, but students."
"Unionization and collective bargaining are not the appropriate methods to address the concerns raised by student-athletes," Cubbage added.
While saying the school is committeed to ensuring the health, safety and well-being of all its students, it doesn't believe collective bargaining would advance the discussion of those topics.