News » Appeals Court Will Decide if Student Athletes Are School Employees

Appeals Court Will Decide if Student Athletes Are School Employees


March 25, 2022

In 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that college sports are a profit-making enterprise, and college athletics are no longer exempt from the normal operation of the antitrust laws. Justice Kavanaugh went a step further questioning whether academic institutions can continue to “justify not paying student athletes a fair share” of the revenue sports bring in, and suggested that student athletes might engage in collective bargaining to determine what their share should be. The questions around how athletes can organize to bargain over their share are working their way through the courts, and now an important issue is before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The General Counsel of the NLRB has issued a memo stating that student athletes are employees of the school they play for. The question before the Third Circuit is “Whether NCAA Division I student athletes can be employees of the colleges and universities they attend for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act solely by virtue of their participation in interscholastic athletics.”

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