Dartmouth men’s basketball team files petition to unionize

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:33 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:05 PM EDT
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HANOVER, N.H. (WCAX) - Men’s basketball players at Dartmouth College have filed a petition to unionize.

The application was filed Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board by the Local 560 union based out of Hanover, New Hampshire.

A group of 15 players are involved, the claim doesn’t include managers or support staff.

This isn’t the first time a college sports team has attempted to be classified as employees: the Northwestern University football team made a similar effort back in 2015, but the NLRB declined to accept jurisdiction over the matter at the time.

In a statement, Dartmouth College officials said they are “carefully considering the petition with the aim of responding promptly yet thoughtfully in accordance with Dartmouth’s educational mission and priorities.”

The Northwestern case might end up serving as a guide for how this ultimately plays out, but it is important to note there are several differences with this case. The Supreme Court’s ruling on name image and likeness rights back in 2021 has obviously had a major impact on the financial structure of college athletics, and we’ve seen a lot of unionization efforts have more success in recent years.

As a member of the Ivy League, Dartmouth men’s basketball players also don’t receive athletic scholarships, so that’s another wrinkle we didn’t see in the Northwestern case.