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Labor Board says Dartmouth College basketball players can join union

Robert Besser
9 Feb 2024

HANOVER, New Hampshire: This week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that men's basketball players at Dartmouth College can vote to join a union as they are the school's employees.

The ruling by Laura Sacks, an NLRB regional director in Boston, is part of a broader effort to reduce student athletes' pay restrictions. It could also be the first successful unionization bid in college athletics.

The ruling followed a petition by an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union seeking to hold a vote for the players to unionize.

Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school in New Hampshire, can appeal the decision to the five-member NLRB, but that would not prevent the vote from being held. However, Sacks did not set a date for the vote.

Dartmouth does not provide athletic scholarships to students, unlike other Ivy League schools, but Sacks, in her decision this week, said that the college's basketball players are compensated in other ways, such as early admission before graduating high school, equipment and apparel, tickets to games and lodging and meals.

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