Northwestern University football players — led by former quarterback Kain Colter — have filed paperwork seeking union representation.

In what ESPN is calling a first in the history of college sports, Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, today filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board at its Chicago office seeking approval of the move.

Huma says, “Athletes deserve an equal voice when it comes to their physical, academic and financial protections.”

“It’s become clear that relying on NCAA policymakers won’t work, that they are never going to protect college athletes,” Huma added.

Colter told the Chicago Tribune college football players “need to have someone looking out for our best interests.”

Colter, who completed his college career in December, says he loved attending NU, and “It taught me how to be a great leader and thinker.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Time for a change at NU

    Maybe it is time for NU to take a 30 year pause like U.Chicago did, from collegiate sports and focus on education.  Afterward they might find like U. Chicago that sports are meant for the physical fitness of ALL students and start taking inter-collegiate sports as what it is—something for fun and fitness.

    Putting a focus on education instead of sports did not hurt U.Chicago.  Maybe it will help NU.  Yes there are many fine professors at NU, but look what they are up against in furthering the reputation [and education of student]—vocational training journalism, music, theater and want-to-be 'professional' sports.

    1. Priorities Straight

      Perhaps NU—faculty, students, alumni and "supporters" should put first things first.

      Instead of spending more on sports and sports unions, what about those adjunct faculty who make only a small fraction of what the "regular" faculty does, can only teach a few classes and have to travel between various colleges even to survive.  Yet studies show they are rated as being as good or better than most full-time [and much better paid] faculty—many who teach few classees and are living off their reputation.  See PBS program http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/is-academia-suffering-adjunctivitis/

      Then what about student campaigns for living wages for janitorial, cooks, and a multitude of service people.  This all seems to get lost in the 'sports' mind set and when tuition and bed/board increase are proposed.

      The university is suppose to be about eduction not training for professional sports or vocational training.

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