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Final day of testimony in CAPA trial: Recap

After five long days of testimony, the National Labor Relations Board hearing between the College Athletes Players Association and Northwestern University has ended. Here are some notes from the final day:

- Three former football players testified on behalf of Northwestern today, the first was former offensive lineman Doug Bartels. Contrary to what Kain Colter said on the opening day of testimony one week ago, Bartels was able to purse the premed track at Northwestern. "It all came down to time management," he said.

- Following Bartels, former long snapper John Henry Pace, who now "works in product planning on future [Ford] Mustang vehicles," testified. Again, Northwestern's attorneys tried to prove how football players could succeed academically and that they were not steered away from certain academic paths.

- The last witness to take the stand was Pat Ward, another former offensive lineman. He basically echoed the previous two witnesses, but did make a statement that may be concerning to Northwestern's case:

An interesting aspect of Ward's testimony was highlighted by Danny Ecker of Crain's. He wrote:

During cross-examination, however, College Athletes Players Association attorney Gary Kohlman turned the spotlight on the heart of his argument: that players like Mr. Ward, a highly-touted prospect out of high school, did not win athletic scholarships to Northwestern because of their academic credentials.

- Briefs from both sides, including any final arguments will be due on March 11. Following the briefs, NLRB hearing officer Joyce Hofstra will submit a recommendation to Peter Ohr, the regional director of Region 13 (Chicago). Ohr will then review the documents and Hofstra's recommendation before making a ruling. It should be noted that regional directors rarely challenge a hearing officer's recommendation.