A federal agency has kicked off a series of hearings on whether to approve a bid by Northwestern football players to form a union by focusing on a single question: Do college football players qualify as employees? At the National Labor Relations Board initial hearing in Chicago, union and Northwestern lawyers agreed that's the decisive question. If they are employees, they can legally unionize. Players' attorney John Adam says his clients work at football 40 hours a week, they're managed by coaches and receive payment in the form of scholarships, so they're employees. Northwestern attorney Alex Barbour disagreed. He told the hearing scholarships aren't pay for football services but for an education.
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