BOSTON -- The National Labor Relations Board on Thursday certified a union to represent Dartmouth basketball players after the deadline passed for the school to object to the election.

Big Green players voted 13-2 on March 5 to join the Service Employees International Union Local 560 -- the first ever labor union for college athletes. The March 12 deadline was for objections about the election process; the school has appealed to the full board an NLRB regional official's decision that the players are school employees.

Barring a successful appeal, the players and school will negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that would cover working conditions such as salary, practice hours and health care benefits.