Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, filed a petition in Chicago with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on behalf of an undisclosed number of Northwestern football players. The move represents a significant step by college athletes to attempt to collectively bargain with the NCAA, universities and conferences.
If certified by the NLRB, the organization would be called the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA). Huma co-founded the organization with Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter and former Massachusetts basketball player Luke Bonner, the brother of NBA player Matt Bonner.
The organization is backed by the United Steelworkers union. A news conference is scheduled for today to announce "an overwhelming majority" of Northwestern football players have signed cards supporting a petition filed with the NLRB, according to a news release.
Huma told ESPN's Outside the Lines that the initial goals of the CAPA do not include a call for schools to pay salaries, but he did not rule out the possibility of the group seeking that type of compensation in the future. The ongoing Ed O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA filed by former and current players is seeking a 50-50 share of television revenue due to the use of athletes' names, images and likenesses on broadcasts.
Some goals listed on the CAPA web site include:
* Guaranteed coverage for sports-related medical expenses for current and former players.
* Minimizing the risk of sports-related traumatic brain injury. Reduce contact in practices, place independent concussion experts on the sidelines, and establish uniform return to play protocols.
* Improve graduation rates. Establish an educational trust fund to help former players complete their degree and reward those who graduate on time.
* Increase athletic scholarships and allow players to receive compensation for commercial sponsorships.
* Secure due process rights. Ensure players are not punished simply because they are accused of a rule violation, and any punishments should be consistent across campuses.
Edited by Noah, 28 January 2014 - 01:26 PM.