NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

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NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:07 pm

From Forbes today.

Today, Northwestern football players attempting to unionize scored a significant victory when the Chicago regional office for the National Labor Relations Board found that Northwestern football players are employees.  Subsequent to that finding, was the NLRB’s order for an immediate union election amongst Northwestern football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships and have eligibility remaining.

The decision by the NLRB’s regional office is unique, as it breaks from a line of precedent set by workers’ compensation cases finding that intercollegiate athletes are not employees.  Given that the National Labor Relations Act only allows those deemed to be employees under the law to unionize, it was critical to the football players’ unionization attempt that the NLRB find them to be employees.

In finding Northwestern football players to be employees under the NLRA, the NLRB found that Northwestern University failed to meet the burden of justifying its decision to deny its football players employee status.  In finding this, the NLRB applied the common law “right to control” test, which considers what level of control an employer has over an alleged employee under a variety of factors.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/aliciajessop/2014/03/26/northwestern-student-athletes-clear-the-first-hurdle-to-unionize/

One small step for a jock....

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by up7587 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:41 pm

So, should a scholarship be taxable income?

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:43 pm

up7587 wrote:So, should a scholarship be taxable income?

That's the least of the issues. Hourly wage is an certainly up in the air. There are minimum wage laws.

But the most important is the concept of The student-athlete. A category the NCAA invented to avoid students being employees and getting Workman's compensation claims..

UW has a nice paper  from 2006 online.

http://digital.law.washington.edu/dspace-law/bitstream/handle/1773.1/262/81washlrev71.pdf

Here is an outline from the paper:

UNIVERSITY ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES..........................96 A. Certain College Athletes Meet the Common Law Standard
for “Employee”.......................................................................97 1. Right of Control: The Daily Lives of Employee-
Athletes Demonstrate that They Are Controlled by the
University ........................................................................97
2. The Athletic Grant-in-Aid Functions as Compensation
for Athletic Services and Illustrates Additional
Control by Coaches over Athletes .................................108
3. Athletes Are Economically Dependent upon Their
Universities .................................................................... 117
B. College Athletes Are Employees Under the NLRB’s
Statutory Test from Brown....................................................119 1. Brown Identifies Four Factors in Assessing Students’
Employee Status ............................................................120 2. Employee-Athletes Are Not Primarily Students and
Their Relationship with Their Universities Is an
Economic One................................................................130 CONCLUSION ...................................................................................155

And the conclusion:
CONCLUSION
NCAA athletes in Division I revenue-generating sports are employees under the NLRA. They meet both the common law and statutory standards for that classification. They are common law employees because they are compensated for their services with athletic scholarships that are unquestionably a quid pro quo for athletic services rendered, and they are subject to a pervasive level of control by their employers on which they are also economically dependent. They are also statutory employees under Brown because their relationships with their universities are not primarily academic; they are overwhelmingly commercial. In fact, intercollegiate athletics has become a dazzlingly commercial activity. It is managed and generates revenue like a highly
uccessful business and has become a professional enterprise, abandoning amateurism in all respects save one: the treatment of its players. Bobby Bowden, the most successful coach in the history of college football, has candidly conceded: “The boys go out and earn millions for their university. Everyone benefits except the players.”402
Although players devote extraordinary energy, time, and dedication to their “jobs” as athletes, they have none of the protections of “employee” status. They are not paid a negotiated wage for their services and are not regarded as eligible for workers’ compensation in the event of injury. Their employers provide limited health or injury insurance, and, most important to our thesis, they are not eligible to bargain collectively with their employers.
The parties to this employment relationship hardly share equal bargaining power.403 And unfortunately for these athletes, their voices are not nearly so powerful as those of the forces that oppose them. Naturally, those with the greatest pecuniary stake in this question—the universities, the NCAA that represents them, the corporations,404 and the many other beneficiaries that profit from college sports405—will likely decry our thesis as blasphemy. Their opposition to this truth, however, is simply a reflection of the profit that so richly rewards them.

To call NCAA Division I athletes in revenue-generating sports amateurs is farcical. The NCAA’s droning insistence on labeling them “student-athletes” is done simply to shore up the fiction that they are something other than employees. NCAA rules, promulgated by the university-employers themselves, bar these athletes from earning compensation representing their true worth. Unaware of their market value, constrained by NCAA strictures, and raised in the myth of the student-athlete, they enter into servitude by the thousands every year. Thus, this fiction has worked to convince even the players themselves to bask in the bright, but brief, glow of their status as campus heroes, and has nurtured their unrealistic dreams of glory, obscuring the reality of their exploitation.
The power of myth is undeniable.406 It has served the economic interests of the NCAA and many other participants in major college sports richly. But the power of the law is also great, and a society that respects the law looks through the myth and the propaganda to facts. The rule of law eschews a “tyranny of labels”407 and seeks truth. And the truth is that these athletes are employees under the law.

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by pilotram on Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:21 am

Is a student that receives an academic scholarship also an employee?

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:08 am

pilotram wrote:Is a student that receives an academic scholarship also an employee?

Are you providing a service?

Scholarships are often not in themselves classed as taxable income or pay for a service, nor are their daily lives controlled by the university any more than a non-scholarship students is, and any portion of a scholarship or grant in aid that depends on other than academic work is taxable and you are an employee subject to the demands and benefits ( worker's comp) of any employee.

Here is what the IRS site says:

Topic 421 - Scholarship and Fellowship Grants
A scholarship is generally an amount paid or allowed to a student at an educational institution for the purpose of study. A fellowship is generally an amount paid to an individual for the purpose of research.

If you receive a scholarship or fellowship grant, all or part of the amounts you receive may be tax-free.

Qualified scholarship and fellowship grants are treated as tax-free amounts if the following conditions are met:

You are a candidate for a degree at an educational institution that maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of students in attendance at the place where it carries on its educational activities; and
Amounts you receive as a scholarship or fellowship grant are used for tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at the educational institution, or for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses at the educational institution.
You must include in gross income amounts used for incidental expenses, such as room and board, travel, and optional equipment, and generally, amounts received as payments for teaching, research, or other services required as a condition for receiving the scholarship or fellowship grant. Also, you must include in income any part of the scholarship or fellowship that represents payments for services. Generally, when reporting scholarship income on your tax return, you will include the amounts on the same line as "Wages, salaries, tips, etc." Review the instructions of your tax form to determine how to report any income from scholarships.

However, you do not need to include in gross income any amounts you receive for services that are required by the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program or the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program.

If any part of your scholarship or fellowship grant is taxable, you may have to make estimated tax payments. For more information, refer to Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.


Further reading here:
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch01.html

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by A_Fan on Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:38 pm

How long before we have signing bonus' for college players and transfers based on salary offers from opposing schools?

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:04 pm

A_Fan wrote:How long before we have signing bonus' for college players and transfers based on salary offers from opposing schools?

Where have you been? You do know the Greg Anthony stories, right? You think his car was work-study?

And Carin Jennings and Mia Hamm had 'jobs' working as sales reps for the shoe company that sponsored the Tarheels.(Adidas, at the time, I think)

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by A_Fan on Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:24 pm

I am thinking of much more overt payouts.

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by DoubleDipper on Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:12 am

Jay Bilas and Tom Farrey discuss the merits of a free market system in college athletics and the future of NCAA athletics:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=10693869

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by pilotram on Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:03 pm

Saw an idea floated that schools should just give them a 4 year scholarship from the beginning, which is not contingent on their playing if they want to get around all this. You could have some kids take advantage of this system, but I'm guessing most want to play.

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:40 pm

Trivia question - of hockey, baseball, football, and basketball name the one sport where you can't turn professional out of high school.

The root of the entire issue is the lack of a proper minor league system affiliated with the NFL. The system forces players to play for three years before being offered the ability to turn pro - three years of seeing exactly 0% of massive television, advertising, and spectator revenue.

You don't hear the players in any of the other sports complaining as often about not being paid - that's because they have a legitimate option to go professional! Even basketball players have the D-League or Europe to consider out of high school before being draft-eligible at 19.

Don't blame the players for wanting to get paid. Don't blame the NCAA's member schools for "only" providing scholarships. Blame the NFL and the lack of a minor league structure.

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by DoubleDipper on Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:49 pm

This whole discussion is beginning to remind me of the ‘60’s when very few of us believed the lies that were spewed by the establishment.  Back then we joined forces against the MAN for what he was, a corrupt, self-righteous and self-centered fat-cat…..but back then it was NOT about athletics.

I was fairly neutral on the idea of student/athlete rights and freedoms until recently when the NCAA and conference commissioners started declaring how bad unionizing the players would be.   It is precisely because of WHO is calling for a ban on unions that is rallying me to join the fight to find a way for the student/athlete to have some say and some share in the riches that go to the fat-cat establishment.

Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA calls a union for college athletes "a grossly inappropriate solution to the problem" that would "blow up everything about the collegiate model of athletics."  Larry Scott, commissioner of the Pac-12, calls a union "a terrible idea" that could "destroy" college sports. Jim Delany, commissioner of the Big Ten, says unionization would create "chaos," and Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12, says a union would mean "we have forever lost our way."

It seems to me, just based upon the establishment fat-cats that are against unionization, similar to the fat-cats that I remember from a different era, we should join forces with the student/athlete AGAINST the MAN!

There are way too many examples of how the rich get richer on the backs of the athletes to mention here, but Shabazz Napier had quite a bit to say just after leading his UConn team to the National Championship…..and, for the most part, it resonated with me.

“We as student athletes get utilized for what we do so well, and we’re definitely the best to get a scholarship to our universities. But at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything. We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed. I don’t think you should stretch it out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing, because a lot of times guys don’t know how to handle themselves with money.

I don’t see myself as so much of an employee, but when you see your jersey getting sold, it may not have your last name on it, but when you see your jersey getting sold, to some credit, you feel like you want something in return.”
Napier went on to talk about how he and his teammates are called student/athletes, but that none of them had been in a classroom for over four weeks because they were playing in the NCAA Tournament, making money for the establishment. He also said they might have made it to class in the days before the Final Four, which began on Saturday, but they were required to be in Arlington, Texas four days early to meet the press and publicize the tournament.  

It’s not right, man!  afro 





,

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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by DoubleDipper on Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:53 am


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Re: NCAA ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Post by pilotram on Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:33 am

Sure, let them turn pro out of high school, and by all means let the NFL pay for it's own farm system. But I don't think this will make college football or basketball less profitable, at least not much, and thus there will still be calls for paying players from that profit.
Don't believe that UConn or anyone else is starving their athletes. They get meal plans (nice ones I've heard) as part of their scholarships. If Shabaz missed a meal because the dining hall closed before he got there, it's probably his own fault. I would expect UConn to issue a statement soon about how their athletes are fed, as the statement from Napier sounds pretty damning.

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