I t's a ruling which could change major college sports as we know them.
A ruling handed down by the National Labor Relations Board yesterday, allows Northwestern University's football team to create the first college athlete's union. Rick Burton is sports management professor at Syracuse University. He says this decision raises many questions which will be answered through court battles. It could go all the way to the supreme court within the next 5 years.
"What this starts to deal with is a discussion of whether or not these players are employees," says Burton. "Can student athletes who unionize, who are treated as employees be taxed for the income, or benefit that they are receiving? How will it differentiate between public school and private schools?"
One Syracuse University football player we talked to says, "Yeah, I mean it would definitely benefit across the country, because we know we have a voice with our age group, basically."
He says the Northwestern University football team is a good program to start this debate. He hopes other teams will follow in their footsteps.
"Northwestern is a great school, they have a great education system and I'm positive. I watched a lot of ESPN last year and I saw that a lot of the averages for the kids on the football team were over 3.0, so they definitely know what they're talking about."
Burton expects Northwestern University to appeal this ruling.