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College Football Players Kick Off Unionization Drive


Paul Burmeister was featured in the Corporate Counsel article entitled “College Football Players Kick Off Unionization Drive.”

The article highlighted the Northwestern University Wildcats led by Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter and Ramogi Huma, president of college athlete advocacy group.

Members of the team filed a petition to be recognized as a union at the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board.

According to legal experts, the determining factor will be whether or not student athletes qualify as employees under the National Labor Relations Act.

The NCAA and Northwestern have explicitly opposed the Wildcats’ move.

Paul explained to Corporate Counsel that it’s unlikely that the players are going to be able to prove that they are Northwestern employees, and not Northwestern students.

“They're there to get an education,” Paul said. “The school has said exactly that, and I agree."

He added that despite the typically broad definition of employee espoused by the labor board, a move to unionize college athletes would expand the scope of the term in a way it has never been before.

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