Sports

Ohio lawmakers push back against efforts to unionize college athletes; other states may follow

  • FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2013 file photo, Ohio State plays against Florida A&M at Ohio Stadium during an NCAA college football game in Columbus, Ohio. A measure that the Ohio House approved last week clarifies that college athletes aren’t public employees and can't unionize. The amendment, tucked into a high-stakes budget bill, responds to a National Labor Relations Board official’s recent ruling declaring full-scholarship players at Northwestern University employees and therefore eligible to unionize. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2013 file photo, Ohio State plays against Florida A&M at Ohio Stadium during an NCAA college football game in Columbus, Ohio. A measure that the Ohio House approved last week clarifies that college athletes aren’t public employees and can't unionize. The amendment, tucked into a high-stakes budget bill, responds to a National Labor Relations Board official’s recent ruling declaring full-scholarship players at Northwestern University employees and therefore eligible to unionize. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2013 file photo, Ohio State football players train in the strength and conditioning room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. A measure that the Ohio House approved last week clarifies that college athletes aren’t public employees and can't unionize. The amendment, tucked into a high-stakes budget bill, responds to a National Labor Relations Board official’s recent ruling declaring full-scholarship players at Northwestern University employees and therefore eligible to unionize. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2013 file photo, Ohio State football players train in the strength and conditioning room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. A measure that the Ohio House approved last week clarifies that college athletes aren’t public employees and can't unionize. The amendment, tucked into a high-stakes budget bill, responds to a National Labor Relations Board official’s recent ruling declaring full-scholarship players at Northwestern University employees and therefore eligible to unionize. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)  (The Associated Press)

Lawmakers in the football-mad state of Ohio are pushing back against a movement to unionize college athletes.

A measure approved by the state House this past week sets out to say college athletes aren't public employees.

It appears to be the first proposal of its kind to clear a state legislative chamber.

The amendment is in response to a National Labor Relations Board official's recent ruling declaring full-scholarship players at Northwestern University employees and therefore eligible to unionize.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Connecticut are considering a move opposite of the one in Ohio by trying to clear the path for college athletes to unionize if they want.

Observers say they wouldn't be surprised if more states with powerful athletic programs at public universities follow the lead of lawmakers in Ohio.