Northwestern attempted unionization so who's next?

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Northwestern football players were awarded the power to form a union after a regional branch of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that they were similar to other college employees.

That case will settle itself in court, as the national branch handles the appeals process and the school's players vote whether to unionize.

In the meantime, national media pundits are trying to pin down which college might follow suit in trying to start a union.

SB Nation released a definitive list Wednesday which has made the rounds on the Internet. It was compiled after multiple private universities sent a letter to the NLRB, asking it to overturn the regional decision which made Northwestern's players employees.

The top three schools were Boston College, Rice and Stanford.

Boston College's addition was likely, considering the fact that it is the ground-zero for a city-wide bill which is called the "College Athletes Bill of Rights." That novel concept includes such items as a fifth-year of financial aid for graduates who become ineligible but haven't graduated yet, as well as year-round health insurance.

The rest of the top 10 schools on the list were Duke, Vanderbilt, Syracuse, Miami, Notre Dame, USC and Wake Forest, in order.

The entire list of 16 schools was compiled by education reporter Libby Nelson, SB Nation college sites manager Matt Brown and intern Kevin Trahan.

What do these teams share in common with each other?

One, they come from more liberal (ie. union-friendly) parts of the country. In addition, they are mostly more academically-rigorous.

They are also all private schools.

That plays a huge role, since in some states, employees of public institutions aren't allowed to unionize in the first place. Basically, we won't see schools like the University of Georgia or the University of Texas unionizing because state laws prohibit collective bargaining by public employees.

Bleacher Report also gave its reasoning behind some of the more divisive choices, especially when it came to teams that were particularly successful on the gridiron and, therefore, would be less likely to unionize because players might be afraid to lose their chances at going to the pros.

Notre Dame, who played for a national championship two seasons ago, was included because of its wealth and its ties to the Catholic church, which has in turn been tied to labor unions in the past. The hiccup there might be in an obscure 1975 Supreme Court case which might make Catholic school faculty exempt from any NLRB decision.

Stanford was picked for its highly-selective admissions as well as its liberal background. This really could happen and, if it did, would involve a program that has been much more successful than Northwestern in recent years.

Southern California, a liberal bastion as well, seems an unlikely choice simply because it has such a tradition of success that alumni might not respond favorably to an attempt  to mess that up. It also seems to treat its athletes well enough already, being one of the first this year to announce four-year athletic scholarships.

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