NLRB rules Dartmouth BB players are employees

The NLRB regional office has ruled that Dartmouth’s basketball players are employees of the university and can form a union.

This ruling, like the one for Northwestern football players a few years ago, may be put on hold pending appeals.

But the sand upon which the NCAA’s castle is built seems to be sinking.

Another private school held a union vote. In this case the union vote passed (13-2) with the Dartmouth basketball team.

The attached article references the significant differences between this vote that the attempt to unionize the NU football team. The NLRB eventually dismissed the NU players petition 10 years ago because the NLRB only had jurisdiction over private schools and NU was the only private school in the B1G. They found that allowing NU to unionize would create an uneven labor environment in the B1G.

All of the schools in the Ivy League are private and none of the Ivy League schools offer athletic scholarships. But the NLRB investigator did find that NU athletes WERE technically employees. And NIL money, while it may not come directly from the schools does require the athlete to be in good academic standing.

So it will be interesting to see how this plays out.


Technical note is that some schools at Cornell are state supported


If the players are university employees but the money is coming from the NIL cooperatives, who on earth does the union bargain with?

I think the NCAA is hoping the cavalry will come riding to the rescue in the form of Congress. Yeah, led by the Easter Bunny.