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College QB Testifies In Bid To Form Athlete Union

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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, Ill. (AP) – Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter is the first witness at a closely watched hearing to determine whether college athletes can form a union.

Colter testified Tuesday at a National Labor Relations Board hearing in Chicago that is expected to last three days.

Colter has said most of the team’s 85 scholarship players support forming a union, though he has been the only one to step forward publicly. He is a senior who has finished his college career.

The pivotal question is whether college athletes qualify as employees and thus have a right to unionize.

A union would dramatically change the landscape of college sports, and the NCAA maintains that students are not employees. The bid is being supported by the United Steelworkers union.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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