Your reply to
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern Universitys football players will cast ballots Friday on whether to form the nations first union for college athletes -- a potentially landmark vote that will be kept sealed for months and possibly years. The National Labor Relations Board said Thursday it will hear an appeal by Northwestern challenging the decision from a regional NLRB director who ruled the players are university employees and thus have the right to unionize. The board said the ballots will be impounded at least until it issues its decision later this year. If the case lands in court, it could be a far longer before the results of the vote are known. The vote comes one day after leaders at the NCAA endorsed a dramatic proposal to give its biggest and most powerful member schools the autonomy to make decisions for its athletes, including more robust funding of scholarships, the ability to address health concerns and other key areas. Union supporters say they are seeking guaranteed coverage of sports-related medical expenses for current and former players. There have been no raucous rallies or demonstrations on the 19,000-student campus just north of Chicago, just official notices about the vote posted near the Wildcats locker room. But there has been plenty of lobbying in the form private meetings, calls and emails, and everyone from coach Pat Fitzgerald to NCAA President Mark Emmert has called for a "no" vote. The 76 scholarship football players eligible to cast ballots know the spotlight is on them, said Ramogi Huma, president of the College Athletes Players Association, which would represent the players at the bargaining table if the pro-union side prevails. Some of the pressure they feel stems from dire Northwestern claims about the consequences of unionization, he said. "Theyre looking at anything and everything to invoke fear in the players," said Huma, a former UCLA linebacker and longtime critic of the NCAA. "We feel like some of the tactics are scare tactics." Northwestern, which is required by law to let the vote proceed, denies applying undue pressure on players to vote "no." However, it recently sent a 21-page question-and-answer document to the players outlining the problems with forming a union. In it, Northwestern said it hoped unionization would not lead to player strikes in the event of a dispute -- but if it did, replacement players could be brought in to cross picket lines. "The tension created in such a situation would be unprecedented and not in anyones best interest," it said. The school also said divisions could emerge between scholarship players eligible for union membership and walk-ons, coaches and staff. "There is no question but that the presence of a union would add tension in terms of creating an us versus them feeling between the players it would represent and those it would not," it said. Northwestern did not release the document publicly, but The Associated Press obtained a copy and a spokesman for the universitys athletic department, Paul Kennedy, verified its authenticity. Alan K. Cubbage, the schools vice-president for university relations, dismissed Humas suggestion that the school was using scare tactics "I would say strongly that Northwestern has conducted an election campaign ... according to the procedures and the rules of the NLRB," he said. When outgoing Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter announced in January that he would lead the drive to unionize, helped by CAPA and the United Steelworkers, he said nearly all of his fellow teammates were behind him. Safety Davion Fleming said his teammates slowly began to understand the issues arent clear-cut. "When the union talk initially started, it wasnt very clear what was going on," said Fleming, who cant vote because his eligibility is exhausted. "I think they didnt understand the implications." Huma said Northwestern seemed to be intentionally misconstruing the facts, and said the schools "subliminal messages" included the suggestion that a "yes" vote could throw their amateur status into question. "No one is taking about striking," he said. "They are trying to rattle players." The fight has been noticed by incoming recruits, too. "I went there for many reasons, more than just football," said Justin Jackson, a running back recruit from Carol Stream. "Theres no possible way that it would have deterred me from signing back in February." Like the players themselves, recruits and their families have a long list of potential questions should a football players union become a reality. One of the biggest issues is whether scholarships would be counted as taxable income. "I dont feel that were really in the position to get involved in anything like that with it yet," said Phil Jackson Sr., Justins father. "But it does obviously would have an impact on the students as far as the scholarship not being a grant but actually being considered income, yeah, that definitely would be a concern. "But at the same time we also understand theres some important issues that need to be hashed out and were kind of letting the process play itself out for right now." Trevor Siemian, who is expected to replace Colter as the starting quarterback, has said he will be voting against a union. "Ill say theres a significant number of guys on the team who feel the same as me," Siemian said earlier this month. Fleming also said doesnt support unionization, though he said the drive has prompted a much-needed debate about conditions for players. After weeks of both sides vying for votes, he said he detects a common sentiment among players. "They just want this to be over -- and to focus on football," he said. Air Max 90 Outlet Italia . -- Chris Crawford hit a 3-pointer with 1:36 left to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the 21st-ranked Tigers beat seventh-ranked Louisville 72-66 Saturday, sweeping the season series from the Cardinals. Air Max 270 Nere Scontate . -- Josh Smith made a 3-pointer as time expired and finished with 20 points to lift the Detroit Pistons to a 99-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night in both teams exhibition finale. http://www.scontateoutletairmax.it/air-m...economiche.html. And theyre pointing to the NHLs biggest market: Toronto. With Gretzky paid out for what is believed to be $7 to 8 million, Gretzky may be eager to get back into the NHL and TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports that the Maple Leafs are very much interested in The Great Ones services. Vapormax Prezzo Basso . Granada goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez saved Morenos first two headers from corner kicks taken by Sergio Garcia, but the defender beat him on his third try after Garcia found Moreno unmarked at the near post in the 78th minute. Nike Air Max Italia . Starting from pole, the 26-year-old Vettel turned in a trademark clinical performance to win the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday and join F1 greats Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as just the third driver to win four consecutive championships.VANCOUVER -- Tommy Heinemann has always tried to stay ready on the bench for calls that have rarely come. But on Sunday, the Vancouver Whitecaps striker, substituting on with 10 minutes left in the game, received a chance -- and made the best of it. Heinemanns goal in stoppage time gave the Whitecaps a dramatic 2-2 Major League Soccer draw with Chivas U.S.A. before a crowd of 18,767 at B.C. Place Stadium. "Its good to get a point, but ultimately, I think were all really disappointed that we didnt win," said Heinemann in a subdued Whitecaps dressing room. Heinemann scored his first goal of the season as he volleyed Erik Hurtados diving header home just moments before the final whistle. With the goal, Heinemann, 26, enabled the Whitecaps (10-9-7) to overcome a 2-0 deficit and avoid a humiliating loss. The Goats (5-14-7), last in the Western Conference by a wide margin, were denied a second consecutive victory, which would have been only their second triumph since May. "Im happy with the development of Chivas in the game, but angry for the result because 2-0 was a big opportunity to win the game," said Goats coach Jose Luis Real. "Maybe two mistakes in defence a and we lost the opportunity to get our second win (in a row.)" Despite the Whitecaps disappointment, Heinemann found personal satisfaction. He signed with the Whitecaps in the off-season after being released by the Columbus Crew following just five minute of playing time in 2012 due to a left knee injury that required microfracture surgery. "It means a lot," he said of the goal. "Im excited to get my first one in front of the home fans. Its just an incredible atmosphere to play in. I think tonight (fans) deserve more, but at least we got one (point)." He has logged just 165 minutes in 11 games this season while starting just one. "Coming off the bench is different from starting a game, and I have had to do that in several different instances over my career," said Heinemann, who is in his third MLS season after two campaigns with Columbus. "So (Ive been) just getting myself in the mindset to gear myself up physically to do anything I can to help." Gershon Koffie, in the 64th minute, also scored for the Whitecaps after rookie Erick Torres had staked Chivas to its lead with a pair of first-half goals. Torres now has four goals in his past two games. The 20-year-old has recorded six goals in only seven MLS career games, all starts. Chivas acquired him on loan in July from his hometown club, also Chivas parent organization, Club Deportivo Guadalajara of the Mexican League. The Whitecaps moved into a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with Dallas. The Caps also avoided a third consecutive loss before three road games in Dallas, San Jose and Montreal. "Sometimes you have to scrap it out, and today we did that," said Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie. "It seemed like we werent going to get that goal, but credit to our team, they kept going all the way to the very end. And, I think thats a really immportant point.dddddddddddd" The Whitecaps entered the game looking to make amends for two straight shutout losses. The hosts were wary of taking Chivas lightly after the Los Angeles-based club upset the New York Red Bulls last weekend, but the visitors still surprised the Caps by getting a pair of early goals. Camilo started for Vancouver after watching the previous game against the L.A. Galaxy from the bench due to a slight groin strain. He struggled to get in sync with fellow Kenny Miller and rookie Kekuta Manneh, 18, who excelled in a rare start on the right wing. It was only Mannehs third start of the season. For the second consecutive game, the Whitecaps allowed a goal in the third minute as Torres scored on a stunning bicycle kick from 13 yards out. After Whitecaps central defender Andy OBrien headed a Carlos Alvarez cross straight up in the air, Torres went horizontal and booted the ball into the top left corner of the net as Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted leaped in vain. "Its a duel, and it goes up in the air," said Ousted. "And, instead of attacking it, were looking at it, and then he just gets to do the bicycle thing. ... Its a nice move, but we just cant allow those kinds of goals." Torres struck again in the 14th minute as he headed in a well-placed cross from Edgar Meja, who deked a couple of defenders on the right flank and sent the ball into the centre of Vancouvers 18-yard box. Torres, listed at five-foot-11, did well to get in front of taller Caps central defender OBrien, who stands six-foot-three, and connect on the ball before he could. After the second Torres goal, Chivas was content to go into a defensive shell and neither he nor his mates generated much offensively. But despite controlling possession, the Whitecaps miscommunicated, and failed to finish on a number of chances. Koffie started the comeback after Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy ran out of the box to the left flank to play a loose ball, but kicked it to him and could not get back to the net in time. OBrien was pulled in favour of Heinemann as an extra striker, setting the stage for the tying goal. Hurtadol, a second-half substitute who has also received limited action, made amends for a bad miss with his assist on the tying goal. "Not a lot of teams have that in them to come back so that just shows the character of this team," said Hurtado, a 22-year-old rookie. But Vancouver striker Miller criticized his club for defending Torres poorly on his bicycle kick, and goalkeeper Ousted said the Caps must learn from their mistakes. "And, going on the road now," said Ousted. "I think we have a tough task." Notes: Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit, recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, remained out of the lineup. ... Whitecaps midfielder Matt Watson made a rare second-consecutive start. ... Vancouver midfielder Russell Teibert was replaced by Erik Hurtado in the 55th minute for tactical reasons. Teibert left after the game for a Canadian national team camp with new coach Benito Floro in Spain. ' ' '