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Dartmouth Men’s Basketball Team Votes to Become First Unionized College Athletes

dartmouth-men’s-basketball-team-votes-to-become-first-unionized-college-athletes
Dartmouth Men’s Basketball Team Votes to Become First Unionized College Athletes
A student walks near the Alumni Gymnasium on the campus of Dartmouth College, Tuesday, Mar
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

The Dartmouth College men’s basketball team voted Tuesday to form a union in a first for college athletes.

The step to unionize and become employees in the multibillion-dollar U.S. college sports industry could pave the way for other student athletes to follow in their respective institutions.

In an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board in the school’s human resources offices, AP reports the players voted 13-2 to join Service Employees International Union Local 560, which already represents some Dartmouth workers. Every player on the roster voted.

“Today is a big day for our team,” said Dartmouth juniors Cade Haskins and Romeo Myrthil, who have led the effort. “We stuck together all season and won this election. It is self-evident that we, as students, can also be both campus workers and union members. Dartmouth seems to be stuck in the past. It’s time for the age of amateurism to end.”

Dartmouth basketball players Romeo Myrthil, left, and Cade Haskins talk after voting at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., Tuesday, March 5, 2024. The Dartmouth men's basketball team has voted to unionize, taking an unprecedented step toward forming the first-ever labor union for college athletes. (AP Photo/Jimmy Golen)

Dartmouth basketball players Romeo Myrthil, left, and Cade Haskins talk after voting at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., Tuesday, March 5, 2024. The vote to unionize is an unprecedented step toward forming the first-ever labor union for college athletes. (AP Photo/Jimmy Golen)

Dartmouth warned students unionizing could get the team ejected from the Ivy League, or even the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), the AP report notes.

A spokesperson for the New Hampshire-based institution said the university has immediately filed an objection with the board, challenging whether college athletes can be designated as employees. Dartmouth said:

For Ivy League students who are varsity athletes, academics are of primary importance, and athletic pursuit is part of the educational experience. Classifying these students as employees simply because they play basketball is as unprecedented as it is inaccurate.

We, therefore, do not believe unionisation is appropriate.

Although the NCAA has long maintained that its players are “student-athletes” who were in school primarily to study, college sports has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry that richly rewards coaches and schools.

Meanwhile the players remain unpaid although the NCAA has recently moved to permit athletes to receive payment for the use of their name, image, and likeness.

“I think this is just the start,” Haskins enthused after voting. “I think this is going to have a domino effect on other cases across the country, and that could lead to other changes.”

The player’s union likely faces a lengthy legal fight against the college before it can begin negotiating over their pay and working conditions.

According to ESPN, the only time a similar effort took place was in 2016 with the Northwestern University football team.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com

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