Northwestern players vote on unionization

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Northwestern University quarterback Kain Colter is leading an effort to unionize the football team. A union would put the athletes in a position to bargain and demand things college athletes have never had before.

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EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) _ Northwestern football players are expected to vote on whether to form the nation’s first college athletic union.

Friday’s unprecedented on-campus vote comes one month after a landmark ruling by a regional head of the National Labor Relations Board, which said players are employees and can unionize.

The Evanston campus building where players are casting secret ballots opened at 6 a.m. Voting runs until 7:30 a.m. It resumes again at 10 a.m. and runs until noon.

Seventy-six scholarship football players are eligible to vote, but the results may not be known for months because the Big Ten school is appealing the unionization effort. Ballots will be impounded.

There haven’t been rallies or demonstrations on the 19,000-student campus. But there has been plenty of lobbying through private meetings, calls and emails.

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