National University System Institute for Policy Research




(858) 642-8498 Get Started

Are student-athletes college employees?

Recent labor ruling throws status of campus sports into question

Roger Showley, U-T SAN DIEGO

Friday, April 4, 2014

View Article

Kelly Cunningham, National University System
Answer: YES

Student-athletes are already essentially college employees under contract and well compensated by scholarship for tuition and living expenses. Other student employees may not be as well paid, but are also not as restricted in extracurricular actions, including utilizing business and legal guidance. It is difficult to argue that restrictive NCAA rules do not violate antitrust legislation. Student-athletes are limited in transferring to another school. They should therefore be able to act freely in their own best interest like any employee. This may be the end of intercollegiate athletics as we now know it. Maybe that would be good.