Ohio's bar on college-athlete unions clears Senate

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio has advanced a proposal that says college athletes are not employees under state law.

The state Senate passed the idea Wednesday as part of a broader bill. It needs approval from the House, which passed an earlier version of the bill.

The employee status of full-scholarship football players became an issue in March, after a federal labor official ruled Northwestern University football players are employees and have a right to 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 it could have little immediate effect but would clarify state law if the issue arises.

The Northwestern players voted on unionization April 25, but the ballots are sealed until after the appeals process.

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