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CHICAGO — Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald testified for three hours Friday about a push by his players to form the nation’s first union for college athletes, sometimes putting himself awkwardly at odds with his senior quarterback.
Sporting a tie in team-color purple, Fitzgerald answered questions before the National Labor Relations Board, which must decide in coming weeks if the football players qualify as employees under US law. If so, they have rights to unionize.
The decision is being closely watched across the country since a decision in favor of an athletes’ union could change the landscape of college athletics.