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Trevor Siemian

Trevor Siemian says union push was rushed, wrong

(AP) Northwestern’s Trevor Siemian says it was wrong for former quarterback Kain Colter and other players to explore unionization without first taking their concerns to their coach and administrators. A regional director for the National Labor Relations Board has cleared the way for Northwestern’s scholarship football players to vote April 25 on whether to form what would be the nation’s first union for college athletes. Coach Pat Fitzgerald has told his players to vote against the union. Colter is leading the effort to unionize the players. Siemian, his replacement at quarterback, opposes the move and said Wednesday he has been

Jim Delany

Dienhart: Time for college sports to join real world

I have to admit: Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports hit the nail on the head with his recent piece about the NCAA not seeing the totality of the picture when it comes to the future of intercollegiate athletics. In sum, not all college sports are equal. It’s time to acknowledge that and take appropriate actions to a model that is woefully outdated and unfair. It’s time to exit fairytale land and embrace the cold, hard fact many don’t want to embrace in this popsicle-for-everyone-world: LIFE ISN’T FAIR. Not everything and everyone is created equally. So, they shouldn’t be treated as

Northwestern Football

Dienhart: Four thoughts from NU spring practice

Northwestern is the lone Big Ten team that doesn’t play a spring game. Instead, the Wildcats just conduct a final practice. Hanging over the on-field goings-on on this day was the specter of NU players forming a union. The players will vote on April 25. [ MORE: Watch all of our Northwestern spring practice video ] Is all of this a distraction for Pat Fitzgerald and his staff? I think it has to be. Mental energy is being exerted on the topic of unionization. And that’s time that Fitzgerald and his staff aren’t spending on trying to build a better

Kyle Prater

Video: NU spring practice highlights, interviews

BTN/BTN2Go aired Northwestern’s spring practice Saturday morning, and we clipped all the top moments and interviews from the 90-minute session. If you’re a Northwestern fan, you’ll want to see Kyle Prater’s highlight-reel catch and hear Venric Mark’s bold prediction about the team’s 1-2 backfield punch. Watch all of the videos in this post. VIDEO: Did you see Kyle Prater's one-handed catch at @NUFBFamily spring practice today? It was nice! WATCH – http://t.co/Fm7kzRwqRw — Northwestern on BTN (@BTN_NU) April 5, 2014 VIDEO: @NUFBFamily star RB Venric Mark has a bold prediction about the team's backfield this year. WATCH – http://t.co/ebjcayrRoG —

Pat Fitzgerald

Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald talks unionization efforts

Northwestern had anything but a typical offseason. The unionization efforts, spearheaded by former star QB Kain Colter, was something few people saw coming, especially at a place like Northwestern. The efforts not only happened, the National Labor Relations Board recently ruled in favor of the players, stating that student-athletes are employees. [ MORE: AP: Fitzgerald urges ‘no’ vote on union ] Northwestern said it plans to appeal the ruling and has until April 9 to do so. Another important date: April 25, the day Northwestern players vote on whether to continue to pursue unionization. BTN caught up with Pat Fitzgerald

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

How to watch Northwestern's spring practice

BTN/BTN2Go will air Northwestern’s spring practice at 11 a.m. ET Saturday, with re-airs at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.. The Wildcats, fresh off a disappointing 5-7 season that saw them miss a bowl game for the first time in six years, welcome back plenty of talent from a team that started 4-0 in 2013. BTN.com will clip all of Saturday’s top highlights and moments and tweet them out from @BTN_NU. After Northwestern’s practice, get Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith’s analysis on “BTN Football Report: Spring Football Edition” at 4 p.m. ET. [ HOW TO WATCH: This practice airs live on

Pat Fitzgerald

Dienhart: NLRB's ruling is 'a bit surprising'

It was a bit surprising to see that the National Labor Relations Board ruled Wednesday that football players who receive scholarships are employees. NLRB directed that a secret ballot election be held to determine whether the football players should be represented by the College Athletes Players Association for purposes of collective bargaining with Northwestern. Northwestern’s vice president for university relations Alan Cubbage issued a statement today stressing the school’s disappointment with the decision. “While we respect the NLRB process and the regional director’s opinion, we disagree with it. Northwestern believes strongly that our student-athletes are not employees, but students. Unionization

NU responds to ruling players are employees

Northwestern University is disappointed by today’s ruling by the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board finding that Northwestern University’s football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships are employees and directing that a secret ballot election be held to determine whether the football players should be represented by the College Athletes Players Association for purposes of collective bargaining with Northwestern University. [ MORE: Dienhart: NLRB’s ruling is ‘a bit surprising’ ] While we respect the NLRB process and the regional director’s opinion, we disagree with it. Northwestern believes strongly that our student-athletes are not employees, but students. Unionization and collective

BTN LiveBIG: CFL champ, 4th grader share bond

“It was if Derrick Rose or Brandon Marshall walked through the door to a group of school children. That’s the type of hero’s welcome Brian received,” Joanna Marshall said. The hero? It was Brian Peters, a linebacker on the CFL’s Grey Cup champion Saskatchewan Roughriders whose entrance in to Lake Forest, Illinois’ Sheridan Elementary School sent a fourth grade class in to a frenzy. BTN LiveBIG covers quite a few stories involving Big Ten-related people that have global, world-changing impact.  Sometimes, the power of impact on one person can have a ripple effect that is equally inspiring. Such is the

Footballs stacked inside a yard mark before the game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Massachusetts Minutemen at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

BTN experts discuss early signing day idea

On Tuesday’s #BTNLive show Mike Hall, Gerry DiNardo and Stanley Jackson had a length discussion examining the positives and negatives of an early signing period in college football. Right now, prospects can’t sign a letter of intent with any school until the first Wednesday in February, a day when football offices are busy and fans track every announcement. If an early signing period were to be established, high school players wouldn’t have to wait until February and could make their verbal commitments official at an earlier date. Watch DiNardo, a former coach, and Jackson, a former player, discuss the ramifications