CHICAGO (AP) - A federal agency holds its first hearing on a request by Northwestern University football players to form a union that could one day represent college athletes nationwide.
Wednesday's hearing in Chicago is before the National Labor Relations Board. It would have to OK the team's bid to unionize.
Senior Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter announced the plans to form the first labor union for college athletes last month. United Steelworkers officials said they are footing the legal bills for the effort.
If it's given the go-ahead, Colter said the College Athletes Players Association would provide athletes a vehicle to lobby for greater financial security and improved safety.
The NCAA and the Big Ten Conference have criticized the move. They argue college athletes aren't legally defined as employees and so can't unionize.
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