- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Hearings on Northwestern football players’ bid to form the nation’s first union for college athletes have concluded with three former players testifying for the university.

The Chicago Sun-Times (https://bit.ly/1gA9iZO ) reports all three spoke at Tuesday’s National Labor Relations Board hearing about how coaches accommodated their studies despite the demands of football.

Northwestern sought to bolster its claim that academics are central to a player’s experience by calling Doug Bartels, Patrick Ward and John Henry Pace. Bartels is now in medical school, and Pace and Ward are engineers.

Testifying last week for the pro-union side, outgoing senior quarterback Kain Colter said when it came to football players, Northwestern put academics second.

With five days of hearings done, a regional NLRB official will decide in coming weeks if the players can unionize.

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