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Northwestern football players seek union representation

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Football players at Northwestern University have submitted paperwork asking that they be represented by a union

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

Northwestern football players have submitted paperwork seeking to have the players represented by a union, according to ESPN.

The university and the NCAA are expected to fight such representation, saying that the players aren't employees and thus cannot be recognized as part of a union.

This is shaping up to be the next potential battle the NCAA is facing, in terms of whether some of the billions it, and its member schools, receive should go to the players who actually make the schools that money.  The Ed O'Bannon case, currently winding its way through the system, involves former players suing the NCAA for compensation for marketing their likenesses.

On a fundamental level, I have a hard time understanding why Charlie Strong can be paid $5 million by the University of Texas, and Kevin Sumlin can be paid a similar amount by Texas A&M, and both coaches can seek outside income opportunities, but players are allowed their scholarship and nothing more.  Many players would receive much more than a scholarship, if they were allowed to negotiate in a free market, rather than having the NCAA put artificial restrictions on what they can receive.

Of course, the ones who benefit from these restrictions are the schools, the a.d.s, the administrators, the coaches, and the NCAA...in other words, the very people who keep those restrictions in place.

This will be an interesting story to watch, as it goes forward...