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College Sports

College Athletes Take Step Toward Forming Union

Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter speaks at a press conference, announcing the creation of the new labor organization to represent college football and basketball players.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter speaks at a press conference, announcing the creation of the new labor organization to represent college football and basketball players. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (AP) — Football players at Northwestern are spearheading the formation of a first-of-its-kind union for college athletes.

Outgoing Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter joined union leaders Tuesday in Chicago to announce the creation of the College Athletes Players Association.

He says the NCAA currently dictates conditions. He says athletes need “a seat at the table” to guarantee safeguards against injuries and to ensure adequate financial compensation.

The first step is to apply for certification by the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of Northwestern football players. The hope is to be successful, then look toward other schools.

United Steelworkers official Tim Waters spoke alongside Colter. He says the key issue is whether college football players are employees. He says if they’re deemed employees, they have the right to organize.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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