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Witnesses oppose NLRB ruling on college athletes

Baylor University president Ken Starr voiced strong opposition Thursday to a regional National Labor Relations Board ruling that scholarship football players at Northwestern University are technically school employees and thus entitled to collective bargaining rights.

Starr, a former federal judge and prosecutor, said it would be very disruptive if college athletes were allowed to unionize.

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Starr testified about the NLRB ruling at a hearing by the House Education and Workforce Committee.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., said allowing college athletes to unionize would set a “dangerous precedent for colleges and universities nationwide.”

The panel’s top Democrat, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., voiced support for Northwestern athletes, calling it “a rational decision by these young people. There was no other outlet.”

“The nostalgic days where student-athletes really were ‘students’ first … are pretty much over for high-level athletic programs,” Miller said.

Canadian Football League

Pass-interference calls to be reviewed

The Canadian Football League board of governors approved video review of pass-interference calls. The CFL said the new rule will allow a team to use an available coach’s challenge for a called or potential pass-interference foul-up in the final three minutes of a game.


Sydney Leroux scored in the 78th minute to help the U.S. women tie Canada 1-1 in an exhibition game in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Leroux kicked Canadian Rebecca Quinn’s errant crossing header into the corner past goalkeeper Erin McLeod in front of 28,255 fans at Investors Group Field, one of six venues for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Kadeisha Buchanan scored for Canada in the first half. Canada failed in its bid to beat the United States for the first time since 2001.

Leroux leads the U.S. with six goals this year and has 30 overall for the national team, 20-0-5 against Canada since a loss in the 2001 Algarve Cup. Born in Vancouver, B.C., Leroux has scored in three straight games against Canada.

Seattle Reign star Hope Solo started in goal for the U.S. She made two saves.


Murray eliminated

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray of Britain was overwhelmed by Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-3, 6-2 in the third round of the Madrid Masters.

Defending champions Rafael Nadal of Spain and Serena Williams of the United States advanced. Nadal beat Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-1, 6-4. Williams earned her 650th career victory with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

Andre Agassi said Rafael Nadal should be considered the greatest tennis player ever, not Roger Federer.

Agassi made the comments in an interview with a Singapore newspaper, saying Nadal’s achievements are more impressive because he has had to deal with tougher opponents.

Federer has 17 Grand Slam titles to Nadal’s 13, though the Spaniard leads his Swiss rival 23-10 in head-to-head meetings.

College basketball

Manning lands recruit

Wake Forest has signed former Tulsa recruit Mitchell Wilbekin.

Wilbekin originally signed with Tulsa in the fall under coach Danny Manning, who left to take over the Demon Deacons last month. Tulsa released Wilbekin from his letter of intent, freeing him to sign with Wake Forest. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound guard is the younger brother of Florida star Scottie Wilbekin, last season’s Southeastern Conference player of the year.

Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall has continued rebuilding the Volunteers’ recruiting class by adding guard Detrick Mostella. The 6-foot-3 guard from Decatur, Ala., is rated as the nation’s No. 85 prospect in the 2014 class.


• San Jose Earthquakes defender Andreas Gorlitz will undergo season-ending right knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

• The father of the late LPGA golfer Erica Blasberg testified in Las Vegas that he knows a Las Vegas doctor he’s suing in a civil wrongful death case didn’t kill his daughter. But Mel Blasberg made it clear he blames Dr. Thomas Hess for pursuing a romantic relationship with his troubled 25-year-old daughter before she committed suicide in May 2010.

• New York Liberty guard Kamiko Williams will miss the WNBA season after tearing a knee ligament during practice.

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