Two local student athletes say they don't need a union

ELKHART, Ind. -- The National Labor Relations Board in Chicago ruled Wednesday that scholarship football players at Northwestern are qualified as employees, which gives them the option of forming a union. Local high school athletes headed for college say the union ruling was unnecessary.

"I think it sends the wrong message to kids in school," said Riley Keagle a senior who plays golf.

The push to unionize at universities may affect future Division I athletes.

At Central High School in Elkhart, seniors Riley Keagle and Kate Cobb will soon be playing in college athletics.

Both say they understand the challenge of managing their education and athletics while keeping up with payments to their college, but they say the ruling is detrimental to sports and the community.

"If you start giving money to the athletes I can see the programs going downhill," said Cobb.

"If you are looking at two options and you know you can be paid to be an athlete and you can take less course work than being a doctor and you are going to get paid, although it is not really as essential to our community, I just think it sends the wrong message," said Keagle.

Keagle has been offered scholarships in golf and academics for Saint Francis College and Savannah University.

"There are a lot of good opportunities playing Division I sports and I feel like I will have a lot of opportunities to expand after college," said Keagle.

The opportunity to go to Huntington College on volleyball and academic scholarships is payment enough for Cobb.

"Athletes are already being paid to come to their school. They are going to be paying for an athlete as a job and it's not a job, it's to help them further their education," said Cobb.

This could be a very long process that may or may not even affect the way high school students will be given payments and scholarships in college.

The push to unionize could end up before the Supreme Court.


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