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The Dartmouth men’s basketball program is looking to unionize, and the two players in charge of the movement said Saturday that they continue to receive support from athletes both on and off campus as they work toward their goal.
After a National Labor Relations Board regional director ruled this week that Big Green players are employees of Dartmouth and have the right to unionize, Romeo Myrthil and Cade Haskins told reporters that they have been flooded with support from both athletes on campus and other Ivy League schools.
“You kind of want to keep it on the low-key, especially in the beginning phases,” Haskins said following a 77-59 loss to Harvard on Saturday, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). “But everyone’s really curious and kind of seeing the opportunity for real change in the future with what we’ve started doing.”
The NCAA has long ruled that players are student-athletes who are in school to study. However, college athletics is a multibillion-dollar industry and players remain unpaid despite coaches and schools continuing to benefit financially.
Ivy League players, in particular, don’t even receive athletic scholarships.
That said, college athletes are allowed to profit off their name, image and likeness, but players forming a union would be unprecedented in college sports.
The Dartmouth men’s basketball team has scheduled a March 5 vote to determine whether players will unionize. All members of the team previously voted to to be represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 560. The SEIU already represents some Dartmouth workers.
Dartmouth has until Feb. 20 to appeal the NLRB’s decision, and the school intends to do so. It could also take the case to court, where an official ruling could take years to be determined.