March 26 (Bloomberg) — Northwestern University's football team has the right to form the first labor union in college sports, the National Labor Relations Board ruled.

All scholarship players on the Evanston, Illinois, school's football team who have not exhausted their eligibility are "employees," Peter Ohr, the NLRB regional director in Chicago, said in his ruling. He ordered an immediate election to create a union board.

Northwestern said it would appeal the local ruling to the full NLRB in Washington.

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