This Note argues that the NLRB erred in their decision to decline to assert jurisdiction. Instead, it stresses that athletes should be allowed to unionize and collectively bargain, so they will finally receive the protections they need, both medical and financial. Without unionization, progress can be made, but a solution cannot be realized.
This note analyzes the effect of Northwestern v. CAPA on the “student-athlete.” Part I of the Note discusses the relevant labor law. Part II examines the Northwestern case and the reasoning behind the decision of the NLRB Regional Director in Chicago. Part III discusses the advancements in player safety and compensation that have occurred since Northwestern and why those changes have not solved the problem. Part IV discusses counterarguments to athlete unionization and refutes those arguments. Finally, Part V proposes a scenario where the NCAA amicably negotiates an employment agreement with a college athlete player’s union and what items must be a part of that contract. By taking these measures, the NCAA can address the most immediate athlete needs, while preserving the appeal of amateurism.