A Northwestern University official has testified at a federal hearing that academics are at the heart a football player's life at the school. The deputy director of athletics, Janna Blais, spoke during a National Labor Relations Board hearing on a bid by Wildcats' football players to unionize. Earlier, Northwestern senior quarterback Kain Colter testified for the pro-union side. He says the school made football a higher priority than academics when it came to football players. The Northwestern official disputes that. She says school officials consistently monitor athletes' academic performance and offer intensive study help. She says Northwestern officials will even pull players out of an ongoing football practice if they learn they're missing class. She adds that football players are "student athletes before anything else."
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