EVANSTON—Kain Colter and a group of Northwestern players are beginning the process of forming a labor union to represent college athletes.According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of the players with the National Labor Relations Board.If the group is certified by the NLRB, it will be called the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA). Huma, Colter and former UMass basketball player Luke Bonner created the group with support from the United Steelworkers.
More details, via OTL:
“This is about finally giving college athletes a seat at the table,” said Huma, a former UCLA linebacker, who created the NCPA as an advocacy group in 2001. “Athletes deserve an equal voice when it comes to their physical, academic and financial protections.”
Huma said that the move to unionize players at Northwestern started with quarterback Kain Colter, who reached out to him last spring and asked for help in giving athletes representation in their effort to improve the conditions under which they play NCAA sports. Colter became a leading voice in regular NCPA-organized conference calls among players from around the country.Huma, Colter and the NCPA organized the “All Players United” movement in the 2013 season that resulted in several players from Northwestern, Georgia and Georgia Tech displaying #APU on their uniforms.Huma told OTL that the goals of CAPA will be the same as the NCPA; looking for representation in the decision-making process of college athletics to improve conditions for student-athletes. The group has advocated for multi-year scholarships and has called for guaranteed scholarships for players who can no longer compete due to injury or medical issues.
“A lot of people will think this is all about money; it’s not,” Colter told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday morning. “We’re asking for a seat at the table to get our voice heard.”