Dartmouth players submit petition to unionize

Sep 14, 2023, 06:03 PM ET

BOSTON– Men’s basketball players at Dartmouth College have become the current college professional athletes to challenge the status quo by attempting to unionize.A petition filed

with the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday by the Service Employees International Union determined 15 players from the Ivy League school as looking for representation. The SEIU was noted as the petitioner, with Dartmouth College and its board of trustees identified as the employer.Dartmouth College representative Jana Barnello provided a statement to The Associated Press, validating the petition had been filed seeking to represent the players and stating it was under review. The petition has been appointed to NLRB’s Boston region, according to the filing’s online listing.”We have the utmost regard for our trainees and for unions usually, “the declaration said.”We are thoroughly considering this petition with the aim of reacting promptly yet attentively in accordance with Dartmouth’s academic mission and priorities.”Northwestern University’s football group tried to form the first union for college athletes in 2014. It was a relocation that was met almost immediate opposition by college conferences and schools that argued it would essentially change a system in which hundreds of millions of dollars are dispersed annually to conferences and schools.The move eventually ended in August 2015 with the NLRB board ruling unanimously that creating a new system of union and nonunion

college teams would cause different standards from school to school. It stated a system with varied cash for players and things like practice time would develop competitive imbalance.That choice contrasted with an earlier decision by a regional NLRB in Chicago, which said scholarship football players are employees under U.S. law and

hence entitled to organize.However, it did not offer an opinion on whether players are staff members of the schools for which they play.Michael McCann, Director of Sports Law and Entertainment Law Institute

of New Hampshire, wrote in a social media post that it could take years for the case to eventually play out.”There’s an excellent substantive legal argument lots of, though not all, college professional athletes are workers,” McCann composed on X, formerly Twitter. “Dartmouth is probably not the perfect private school males’s team to try this considered that they are not a significant program and are Ivy League, where there are no athletic scholarships. … However Dartmouth trainee workers in dining services are already in a union, so from that lens is an excellent school.”

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