The Northwestern player union has at least one major-conference private school preparing for the big-picture ramifications.

Vanderbilt athletics has consulted with its lawyers about the dynamics of a union, what it might mean for the school and how to best serve students, AD David Williams told CBSSports.com.

In other words, time to prepare in case more schools are targeted.

“We're in very close contact with (lawyers) to help us understand what all this means and what we should or shouldn't be doing,” Williams said. “First thing we did.”

The College Athletes Players Association, led by Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, won a petition to the National Labor Relations Board to become employees of the school instead of student-athletes. The school is appealing the ruling, which makes collective bargaining before the 2014 unlikely.

Private schools are considered easier targets, at least through the NLRB, which rules on private employers. Public universities are governed by state law.

But Williams said he'd feel equally concerned about unionization if he ran a public athletic department.

“If privates are going to have to deal with this, the publics will also,” he said. “It's hard to fathom only privates schools would be part of it.”