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Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, right, speaks while College Athletes Players Association President Ramogi Huma, listens during a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)

March 27 (Bloomberg) — Lawsuits challenging amateurism in college sports may result in higher costs for universities and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Moody’s Investors Service said.

A ruling yesterday by the National Labor Relations Board allowing Northwestern University football players to unionize is the latest threat to the model of not paying athletes in college sports, Moody’s analysts led by Dennis Gephardt said today in a report. A change in the practice “would ultimately precipitate a major retooling of college sports programs, which are often critical to the identity of universities and help with student recruitment and donor support,” Gephardt said.

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