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CHICAGO (AP) - A labor agency has invited outside parties to weigh in on whether Northwestern football players should be able to unionize.

The National Labor Relations Board posted a notice Monday asking groups not directly involved in the dispute to submit arguments for or against unionization by June 26.

A regional director of the NLRB ruled in March that football players at the Chicago-area university are employees and have a right to unionize.

The Big Ten school is appealing the ruling to the full labor agency board in Washington. The would-be union, the College Athletes Players Association, wants the landmark ruling upheld.

The Northwestern players voted on unionization April 25. But the ballots are sealed until after the appeals process.

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