Dartmouth union vote a blow to NCAA idea of ‘amateurism’: Expert

  • Many believe it is a glimpse into the future of college sports
  • Dartmouth voted 12-2 in favor of unionization
  • Dartmouth administrators have filed a formal appeal to the effort

(NewsNation) — Dartmouth College men’s basketball players’ vote to unionize has dealt a blow to the NCAA’s “cherished mantra of amateurism,” according to a sports law expert.

Andrew Brandt, executive director of the Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law at Villanova University, told “NewsNation Now” that Dartmouth’s 13-2 vote in favor of joining the Service Employees International Union Local 560 is a precedent that more institutions will likely follow.

Even if the Dartmouth players’ bid falls short, many believe it is a glimpse into the future of college sports, which is struggling to find structure and stability with mostly unregulated name, image and likeness compensation and unrestricted transfers.

Brandt said the latest unionization push from athletes is another example of players realizing their potential worth to large sports programs.

“(The NCAA is) succumbing to the fact that this, for college football and college basketball at the big-time level, has become pro sports just without the labor cost,” Brandt said.

Dartmouth administrators have filed a formal appeal to the effort, according to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which will be reviewed by the board.

A statement from the NCAA said, in part, it is “pursuing significant reforms” to give college athletes more benefits but that players “should not be forced into an employment model.”

Northwestern University’s football team tried unionizing in 2014, but the NLRB did not accept its request at the time.

Sports

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