Not this year: Legislation to allow college athletes to unionize

With one week left in the legislative session, state Rep. Patricia Dillon of New Haven said Wednesday that she will not be proposing legislation this year after all that would allow college athletes to form unions.

Dillon, D-New Haven, announced earlier this month after Shabazz Napier, University of Connecticut basketball star, said he sometimes goes to bed “starving” that she was considering proposing legislation that would ensure that student athletes at the state’s public colleges could unionize.

During an interview Wednesday, Dillon said she plans to save the issue to propose for the next legislative session, which begins in January, so it can have a public hearing and the proper vetting.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled last month that the football players at Northwestern, a private college, have the right to form the first labor union in college sports.

The NLRB ruling does not empower athletes at public universities like UConn to unionize, because public schools rely on state labor laws for such issues.