Collegiate sports could be in for a big change.

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Northwestern University football players are employees of the university and should be entitled to be represented in collective bargaining.

This ruling could potentially pave the way for collegiate players to unionize and change the way college athletics operate.

Northwestern said it was "disappointed" by the ruling and plans to appeal.

"Northwestern believes strongly that our student athletes are not employees, but students," the school said. "Unionization and collective bargaining are the appropriate methods to address the concerns raised by student-athletes."

The petition was brought forth in part by former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, who called the decision "a huge win for college athletes."

The case now adds new life to the age old discussion of whether or not student-athletes should be paid for their part in the money making machine that is college sports.