Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald urged his team on Saturday to vote against forming a union later this month.
“I believe it’s in their best interests to vote no,” Fitzgerald said on Saturday, according to ESPN. “With the research that I’ve done, I’m going to stick to the facts and I’m going to do everything in my power to educate our guys. Our university is going to do that. We’ll give them all the resources they need to get the facts.”
After former quarterback Kain Colter filed a petition with National Labor Relations Board (NRLB), the NRLB issued a regional ruling last week allowing the players the option of unionizing.
According to ESPN, “Fitzgerald read a letter to players and sent it to their parents, and has since addressed the topic another time.” Northwestern players will vote on April 25, “Fitzgerald is prohibited from making promises to players about benefits they would receive if they vote against unionizing.” In addition, “he also cannot make any threats or interrogate players on how they will vote” and cannot state his views on the matter int he 24 hours before the voting period.
Northwestern could still appeal the NRLB’s ruling. And “if the NLRB considers the appeal, ballots from the April 25 vote will be impounded until a decision is made. If a majority of players vote to unionize and the appeal is denied, CAPA would attempt to start the collective-bargaining process. If Northwestern refuses, the case would go to federal court. If players vote no but the appeal is denied, they could vote again 12 months after the ballots are unsealed.”
Colter went to Capitol Hill last week and had meetings with lawmakers.