Ohio bill says college athletes aren’t employees

Indiana guard Evan Gordon (10) dribbles the ball defended by Ohio State guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. in the second half of an NCAA college basketball in Bloomington, Ind. Sunday, March 2, 2014. Indiana won 72-64. (AP Photo/R Brent Smith)
Indiana guard Evan Gordon (10) dribbles the ball defended by Ohio State guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. in the second half of an NCAA college basketball in Bloomington, Ind. Sunday, March 2, 2014. Indiana won 72-64. (AP Photo/R Brent Smith)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio legislative panel has changed a budget bill to make clear that college athletes are not employees under state law.

The move comes after a decision last month by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board involving the Northwestern football team. The ruling said that full scholarship players can be considered employees and thus have the right to form a union.

The Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee amended a sweeping budget proposal on Monday to clarify that college athletes are not considered employees.

Chairman Ron Amstutz told reporters the change could have little effect. But he says if it comes up, it will be in the law.

The amendment was among dozens made to the bill, which is on track for a committee vote Tuesday.

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