The group behind the effort to unionize Northwestern athletes isn’t interested in advocating for salaries for them.
In a forum at the Aspen Institute in Washington on Thursday, College Athletes Players Assn. President Ramogi Huma refuted the notion that the group wants pay for play.
“And that’s not part of our agenda,” Huma said, according to the event’s transcript. “That’s one reason why we’re here in Washington, D.C. This is not about salary.”
Last month, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Northwestern athletes are university employees and have the right to form a union. The salary question surfaced as soon as the NCAA issued a statement disagreeing with the decision.
“We frequently hear from student-athletes, across all sports, that they participate to enhance their overall college experience and for the love of their sport, not to be paid,” the statement attributed to NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said.
At the forum, Huma reiterated his desire to focus on issues like closing the gap between scholarship amounts and the full cost of attendance, covering sports-related medical expenses, improving graduation rates and reducing concussions.
“So I just want to keep hammering that a little bit because we have to change the discourse -- [college athletes] are already paid,” Huma said. “Question is do -- should -- they get additional resources and, if so, in what forms? … I think we’ve laid out very clearly what the forms are in terms of the things that college athletes want and have vocalized and want to push for.”
Huma and former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter met with several members of Congress and the NFL Players Assn. leadership in Washington earlier this week.
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