Northwestern U., Dr. Jim Phillips statement on player unionization

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Dr. Jim Phillips, the Athletic Director at Northwestern University has released a statement in response to this morning’s announcement that NU QB Kain Colter and unnamed Northwestern football players have organized. Here’s what Jim Phillips had to say about the formation of CAPA, the first college athlete union in history.

I am not editorializing here (that will come much later), I am just presenting the statement of Northwestern University and Jim Phillips, I was at the press conference today, and will have lots of photos, quotes, videos etc. along with analysis, reporting and opining.

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The statement of Dr. Jim Phillips reads:

We love and are proud of our students. Northwestern teaches them to be leaders and independent thinkers who will make a positive impact on their communities, the nation and the world. Today’s action demonstrates that they are doing so.

Northwestern University always has been, and continues to be, committed to the health, safety and academic success of all of its students, including its student-athletes. The concerns regarding the long-term health impacts of playing intercollegiate sports, providing academic support and opportunities for student-athletes are being discussed currently at the national level, and we agree that they should have a prominent voice in those discussions.

We are pleased to note that the Northwestern students involved in this effort emphasized that they are not unhappy with the University, the football program or their treatment here, but are raising the concerns because of the importance of these issues nationally.

Northwestern believes that our student-athletes are not employees and collective bargaining is therefore not the appropriate method to address these concerns. However, we agree that the health and academic issues being raised by our student-athletes and others are important ones that deserve further consideration.

Photo: The #capa #kaincolter press conference announcing the first union in college sports history #b1gcats

Learn more about CAPA here and follow them on Twitter

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar in media studies, he’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments on ESPN, NBC, CBS and Fox Sports Radio. A former writer for NBCChicago.com and WashingtonTimes.com, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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