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Ban on student athlete unions clears state House

Northwestern University football players sought to organize.
Northwestern University

Student athletes at Michigan’s public universities would be banned from unionizing under a bill approved by the state House on Tuesday. House Bill 6074 passed on a party-line vote.

“I don’t think we want to send the message to high school athletes that, gee, we want you to come to college and be a part-time university employee,” said Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, who sponsored the bill.

“We want you to come to college and get a great education. We want you to come to college and get an education that’s going to give you lifetime benefits.”

But state Representative Andy Schor, D-Lansing, points to the fact that there have been no reports of student athletes trying to unionize in Michigan.

“If we had students who were trying to unionize and the Republicans were trying to prevent it, I’d still vote ‘no’ because I think that they should have that option, but at least I’d understand why this is moving so fast,” said Schor.

“There are a hundred questions that I have on why this makes sense and none of them have been answered.”

Football players at Northwestern University – a private university in Illinois – took a vote on unionizing earlier this year.

The bill now goes to the state Senate.