The Southeastern Conference has opened up on the most recent "pay to play" debate among college athletes.
This comes one day after the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board decided that football players at Northwestern University, a private institution, have the right to unionize, and bargain collectively.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive sent ABC 3340 a statement this afternoon, it reads in part.
"The SEC does not believe that full time students participating in intercollegiate athletics are employees of the universities they attend. We will continue to actively pursue increased support for student-athletes by seeking to modify the NCAA governance process to permit changes that are fair to student-athletes and also consistent with what we believe are the appropriate principles of amateurism, that are fair to student-athletes and also consistent with what we believe are the appropriate principles of amateurism."
Vanderbilt University is the only private university within the southeastern conference. A representative with the university told me they are following this case with great interest, but are not prepared to comment at this time.
The decision by the NLRB isn't final, since it has been appealed by Northwestern to the national offices in Washington D.C.
However, it is expected that this will make its way to The Supreme Court.