Dartmouth men’s basketball team will hold union vote on March 5

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The Dartmouth men’s basketball team has scheduled a March 5 election to determine whether the players will unionize – a step that would be unprecedented in American college sports.

The National Labor Relations Board said the in-person election will take place on the school’s Hanover, New Hampshire, campus.

Although the NCAA has long maintained that the players are “student-athletes” — a term created to emphasize that their education comes first — the NLRB Regional Director in Boston ruled on Monday that the players were effectively employees of the school.

That cleared the way for a union election. All 15 members of the team had previously signed a petition asking to be represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 560, which already represents some other Dartmouth staff.

An NLRB spokeswoman said Dartmouth has until Feb. 20 to appeal the regional director’s finding. The school has said it intends to do so.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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