Ohio's bar on college-athlete unions moves forward

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- An Ohio Senate committee has approved legislation saying college athletes are not employees under state law.

The employee status of full-scholarship football players became an issue in March, after a federal labor official ruled Northwestern University players can be considered employees and can therefore unionize.

The ruling is being appealed. If it holds, it could have widespread repercussions in the multibillion-dollar college sports industry.

Supporters of the Ohio provision say the change could have little immediate effect, but would clarify state law if the employment issue arises. The Ohio AFL-CIO is opposed.

The budget bill cleared the committee 10-3 on Tuesday after Democratic Sen. Mike Skindell failed in an attempt to remove the union-related provision.

Some Northwestern players say they voted against organizing. Results of their election weren't released.

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