Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian says push for union was wrong

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Northwestern’s Trevor Siemian said Wednesday it was wrong for former quarterback Kain Colter and other players to explore unionization without first taking their concerns to their coach and administrators.

The school’s football players are scheduled to vote later this month on whether to form a union to possibly bargain over better compensation, health insurance and work conditions. Siemian, a quarterback who will be a senior this fall, said during a conference call with reporters that players should have taken their concerns to coach Pat Fitzgerald and athletic director James Phillips before setting out to unionize.

“I’m treated far better than I deserve here,” Siemian said. “Introducing a third party or somebody else, especially when our main goals when this began ... there were issues with the NCAA that we thought we could address, and (unionizing) was one of the ways to do it. Nothing had been exhausted from within the school. Myself included, nobody ever addressed Fitz or Dr. Phillips about these issues.

“Two of these guys that all of us have come here and trusted so much – I’ve known coach Fitz five or six years now – to say I don’t trust you enough to help us out addressing these changes isn’t the right way to go.”

A regional director for the National Labor Relations Board announced on March 26 that Northwestern’s football players meet the definition of employees under federal law and are allowed to unionize. The players are set to vote by secret ballot April 25 on whether to form a union.

Siemian said he would vote no.

GEORGIA: A.J. Turman watched last season while fellow freshman tailbacks Brendan Douglas and J.J. Green got their carries when Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley were sidelined by injuries.

Turman’s redshirt is behind him and he’s now working this spring to earn his spot in what should be a crowded backfield.

With Green now a defensive back, Turman is getting chances to open eyes now.

Turman has rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in two spring scrimmages.

LOUISIANA STATE: Former quarterback Zach Mettenberger says he believes he proved during a workout Wednesday that his recovery from reconstructive left knee surgery won’t stop him from competing for an NFL job this summer.

Wearing shoulder pads and a helmet, Mettenberger threw dozens of passes out of drop backs and even rollouts during LSU’s pro day. His receivers included NFL prospects Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.

TENNESSEE: Bobby Denton, who worked as Neyland Stadium’s public address announcer for nearly half a century, died Wednesday morning at his Knoxville, Tenn., home. He was 73. Denton had worked as the PA announcer for Tennessee football since 1967.

VIKINGS: Adrian Peterson is still working his way back from off-season groin surgery. He says he is eager to rejoin his Minnesota Vikings teammates for the team’s off-season program once his body is ready.

Peterson said on a conference call he “can’t sit here and say I’m back right now. But I'm not far off at all.”

PRO BOWL: The next game will be played in Arizona at the site of the Super Bowl, skipping Hawaii for the first time since 2010.

The game will return to Hawaii in 2016, the NFL announced Wednesday.


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