Dartmouth basketball players vote to form first union in college sports

Dartmouth College basketball players made history on Tuesday by voting to unionize, marking a significant milestone in college sports. This move could have wide-ranging impacts on other amateur athletes.

The men’s basketball team at Dartmouth, part of the Ivy League, voted 13-2 in favor of joining Service Employees International Union Local 560, which currently represents some Dartmouth workers. Through unionization, players can now negotiate for a salary and improved working conditions, such as practice hours and travel arrangements.

Having a college athletes’ union is unprecedented in American sports.

Players Cade Haskins and Romeo Myrthil expressed their joy in a statement, calling it a significant day for the team and emphasizing the importance of unity among students. They highlighted the need to move away from traditional amateurism and embrace the changing landscape of college sports.

Last year, Haskins and other players initiated the process of unionization, facing opposition from the college. Federal regulators intervened, leading to a hearing held by the NLRB with players and Dartmouth in early October. Following deliberations, the NLRB supported the players’ right to unionize.

Almost immediately after the vote, Dartmouth administrators lodged a formal appeal against the unionizing effort. The NLRB will review this appeal and make a decision in due time, as stated by an agency spokeswoman.