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CHICAGO -- In a stunning ruling that could revolutionize college sports, a federal agency said Wednesday that football players at Northwestern University can create the nation's first union of college athletes. The decision by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board means it agrees football players at the Big Ten school qualify as employees under federal law and therefore can legally unionize."Based on the entire record in this case, I find that the Employer's football players who receive scholarships fall squarely within (federal labor law's) broad definition of 'employee,'" Peter Sung Ohr, the NLRB regional director, said in his 24-page decision. An employee is generally regarded by law as someone who receives compensation for a service and is under the direct control of managers. Players argued that their scholarships are compensation and coaches are their managers.