COLUMBUS -- An Ohio legislative panel has approved a budget proposal saying college athletes are not employees under state law.
The proposal comes after last month's landmark decision by a National Labor Relations Board official involving the Northwestern University football team.
The NLRB ruling says full scholarship players can be considered employees and thus can form a union. If the ruling holds up, it could have widespread repercussions in the multibillion-dollar college sports industry.
Supporters say the bill approved Tuesday clarifies Ohio law. House Finance and Appropriations Committee Chairman Ron Amstutz (AHM'-stuts) says the change could have little effect but if the employment issue comes up, it will be in state law.
The Ohio AFL-CIO accused majority Republicans of trying to "engineer punitive proposals."
The full House could vote this afternoon.
Jackets tie record: Ryan Johansen took a stretch pass from James Wisniewski and scored on a wrist shot at 3:33 of overtime to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night, tying a franchise record for wins.
Sergei Bobrovsky had 29 saves, Blake Comeau, Boone Jenner and Mark Letestu also had goals and Artem Anisimov added two assists for the Blue Jackets.
Wings win: Darren Helm scored the go-ahead goal 3:33 into the third period to inch the Detroit Red Wings closer to clinching a playoff berth with a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
Brendan Smith, David Legwand and Pavel Datsyuk, into an empty net, also scored for the Red Wings, and Jimmy Howard made 25 saves.
Reaches 50: Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin became the 11th player in NHL history to score at least 50 goals in a season five times when he tallied on a power play in the first period Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues.
Ovechkin beat Blues goalie Ryan Miller with a one-timer from the left circle at 17:54 for his 50th goal overall.
Kupchak extended: Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has agreed to a multiyear contract extension late in one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
Los Angeles announced its new deal for Kupchak late in the fourth quarter of a 145-130 loss to the Houston Rockets.
Kupchak had one year left on his current contract.
Wins Mr. Basketball: Trey Lyles of Class 4A state champion Indianapolis Arsenal Tech is The Indianapolis Star's Mr. Basketball winner for 2014.
The 6-foot-10 Kentucky recruit averaged 23.7 points and 12.9 rebounds in leading Tech to a 27-2 record and the first state title for the Indianapolis Public Schools since 1980.
Pistons end skid: Rodney Stuckey scored 29 points, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond each had a double-double and the Detroit Pistons snapped a 10-game skid in Atlanta with a 102-95 victory over the Hawks on Tuesday night.
Latos not ready: Cincinnati scratched pitcher Mat Latos from an injury rehabilitation start due to right elbow irritation and placed reliever Trevor Bell on the 15-day disabled list with an aching right elbow.
The Reds also activated right-hander Jonathan Broxton from the disabled list following his recovery from a right forearm injury. Manager Bryan Price said Tuesday that Broxton will be the stand-in closer in place of injured Aroldis Chapman.
Son dies: For the second time, veteran major league umpire John Hirschbeck has lost a son.
Michael Hirschbeck died Tuesday of unknown causes in Poland, Ohio. The Indians said he was 27.
John Hirschbeck had been scheduled to work the interleague series between Cleveland and the San Diego Padres, but was with his family.