Northwestern football players' reps to meet with D.C. legislators

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The movement for college football players to unionize is headed to Washington D.C.

Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter will lead representatives of the College Athletes Players Association to a series of informational briefings with legislators on Wednesday and Thursday, ESPN's "Outside the Lines" reported.

Ramogi Huma, president of the CAPA, said players want lawmakers to know the reasoning behind their push to form a union, per the report.

"We want them to understand why we're doing what we're doing," Huma said. "Obviously, Congress has the power to affect conditions for college athletes as well, and we want to correct some of the false statements that have been made about what we're trying to do."

It's unclear which statements Huma is referring to, but clearly a trip to Washington D.C. gives the CAPA a chance to strengthen ties with powerful supporters of their cause and potentially add support from new sources in the process.

The players already have a key ally on Capitol Hill in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has pledged to help players however he can.

"Of course they should be able to organize," Reid said last week. "The way these people are treated by the NCAA and the universities themselves is really unpardonable, and I wish them well. I'll do anything I can to help."

The National Labor Relations Board issued a historic decision in the players' favor last week, ruling that they qualify as employees of the university. Northwestern University has already said it intends to appeal the decision. It has until April 9 to file that appeal, and the appeal could take months or even years.

For now, the ball is in the NLRB's court. It has ordered an election among Northwestern scholarship football players with eligibility remaining and could either move forward in that process next month or postpone it until the appeals process concludes, but opting for the latter would be out of the ordinary.

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