Fallout from NLRB ruling that student-athletes can unionize

By WEEK Producer

March 27, 2014 Updated Mar 27, 2014 at 9:46 PM CDT

EAST Peoria, Ill. -- It's a decision that could turn college athletics into a whole new ballgame.

A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled yesterday that football players at Northwestern University qualify as employees of the school and can form a union.

The NLRB decision has sent shockwaves through college athletic departments and raises all sorts of questions.

Tony Wysinger is the head basketball coach at Illinois Central College and is also a former player at the University of Illinois.

He suggests that student-athletes who want to be defined as school employees may be opening a can of worms for themselves.

"Say that they have an infraction. There's a way that we handle those infractions," said Wysinger. "If you're dealing with a union there's another way that that could be handled. And if someone is looking at you as an employee they can definitely handle an infraction with you're done."

The NCAA was not involved in the Northwestern case. The university has already said it will appeal the NLRB ruling.