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Northwestern claims its football program loses money for university

College Sports

Northwestern doesn't profit from its football team. In fact, the program actually loses money for the university.

That's what Steven Green, chief financial officer for the athletics department, said Thursday while on the stand at a National Labor Relations Board hearing in Chicago to determine whether or not Northwestern football players should be allowed to unionize.

A day earlier, Southern Utah University sports economist David Berri had testified on behalf of the newly formed College Athletes Players Assn., which is pushing the unionization bid with support from United Steelworkers.

Berri claimed Northwestern football made $76 million in profit from 2003 to 2012, with revenues of $235 million and costs of $159 million.

Green countered that Berri's figure did not take into account such expenses as stadium repairs, which he said cost the university up to a half-million dollars a year.

Hearing officer Joyce Hofstra interrupted the testimony several times, saying revenue talk on both sides was irrelevant to the central question of whether the players are employees under law.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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