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College Athletes as Employees

Spring 2014 saw the first ever attempt to form a union among Division I college athletes, specifically the football team at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. The National Labor Relation Board’s (“NLRB” or “Board”)...more

Why Employers Should Think Twice Before Making Employees Play Hurt

Recently, my Alma Mater, The University of Southern California, was sued by a former member of the Trojan football team. Former cornerback Brian Baucham filed a lawsuit against USC and former coach Lane Kiffin, alleging he...more

Year in Review: NLRB Edition

With the new year upon us, we have rounded up some of the most important NLRB decisions of 2014. By all accounts, the NLRB was as active as ever in 2014. Its decisions and rulemaking will preoccupy HR and LR professionals in...more

Michigan Passes Student-Athlete Union Ban

Michigan is poised to officially ban student-athletes at public colleges and universities from forming or joining a labor union. Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the recently passed bill into law by the end of the year. ...more

Ninth Quarterly Report Of The Independent Athletics Integrity Monitor Pursuant To The Athletics Integrity Agreement Among The...

This is the ninth quarterly report of the independent athletics integrity monitor (“Monitor”) pursuant to section III of the Consent Decree between the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) and The Pennsylvania...more

Division I Athlete Commences Collective Action Seeking Pay For Play

A complaint recently filed in the Southern District of Indiana alleges that the NCAA and its Division I Member Schools have jointly agreed and conspired to engage in a widespread pattern, policy, and practice of failing to...more

Former College Athlete Claiming Temporary Employee Status Sues NCAA Because She Wasn’t Paid Minimum Wage

A former soccer player from the University of Houston, Samantha Sackos, has filed a putative class action in the Southern District of Indiana against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and all NCAA Division I...more

The Next Cleat Drops… College Athletes Sue for Unpaid Wages

If college athletes are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), then why not under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)? That proposition predictably follows from the recent determination by the Chicago...more

FLSA Wage and Hour Lawsuit Filed against NCAA

A putative collective action on behalf of college athletes, Sackos v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, was recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana against the National...more

Boston Ordinances Proposed to Address Student-Athlete Safety and Scholarships - Ordinances May Lead Other Cities and States to...

The Boston City Council has entered the ongoing national debates and reform efforts concerning collegiate student-athlete issues, including safety and scholarships. Colleges and universities across the United States, athletic...more

Court Affirms Three-Part Title IX Test Applies to High Schools

In a recent decision, Ollier v. Sweetwater Union High School District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a trial court finding that a public school district intentionally discriminated and retaliated against female...more

When Xs and Os Go Awry: Recent College Coach Lawsuits Emphasize the Importance of Good Contract Language Even for "Intramural"...

The recent flurry of scandals in professional sports, particularly those from the NFL that dominated headlines in recent weeks, are not without their counterparts in the college ranks. Indeed, in the past year there have been...more

Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 6 of 11 – A Farewell to the BCS and Amateurism in College Athletics (At Least as You Knew...

The advent of a playoff system in Division I FBS college football is not the only new change in intercollegiate athletics. After the most active summer in the history of college sports, the following events will have a large...more

NCAA’s Limits on Athletes’ Compensation for Use of Their Names or Likenesses Violates Antitrust Laws

The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) fundamental beliefs about the role of student-athletes and its economic model just received a partial rebuke from the courts. On August 8, 2014, a federal judge ruled that...more

Game On! Recent Legal Developments and Tax Issues for Collegiate Athletics

This is a period of unprecedented change for collegiate athletics, with potentially surprising tax consequences to the parties involved. Within the past six months, a federal district court held that the antitrust laws...more

Former JSU Women’s Basketball Coach Receives Additional Award in Wrongful Termination Suit

In August, a judge awarded former Jackson State University (JSU) head coach, Denise Taylor, $200,000 in damages for “emotional pain and suffering” she endured during her employment. Taylor was the head women’s basketball...more

School Districts: New Law Expands Child Abuse Reporting Obligations to School Coaches (8/14)

On August 6, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that will require school athletic coaches to report suspected child abuse to the authorities. Under state law, school personnel, including but not limited to,...more

Northwestern University Football Players Are Not Employees

Recently, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that grant-in-aid scholarship football players at Northwestern University are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act. This has raised the question whether such...more

Amicus Briefs Submitted to NLRB on Appeal of Northwestern University Decision

As previously noted in this blog, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has sought amicus curiae briefing in the Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association matter on review of the NLRB Regional...more

Summer Semester Checklist – Revisiting Your Coach’s Contract

In the “quiet” period for intercollegiate athletic competition, compensation to college coaches has taken center stage. During the ongoing trial in the O’Bannon v. NCAA litigation, the plaintiff’s expert economist highlighted...more

The NLRB Invites Comments Before Reaching a Final Decision on Whether to Grant Northwestern University Football Players the Right...

On March 26, 2014, Peter Sung Ohr, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) Regional Director in Chicago, ruled that football players at Northwestern University were properly classified as employees of the University...more

College Coaching Comebacks Petrino and Pearl Get Second Chances: The Moral(s) of the Story

Bobby Petrino seems to turn every team that he coaches into a winner – and a cash cow. After Petrino took over the Louisville Cardinals in 2003, he increased the team’s revenue from $10 million to $19 million in just three...more

Is the NLRB’s Brown University Decision on Its Last Leg?

The National Labor Relations Board’s treatment of college and university students as “employees” covered by the National Labor Relations Act has been the subject of a tortured history. In the Fall of 2000, in a case...more

Will the Star Quarterback Be Sacked by the Taxman?

On March 26, 2014, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided scholarship football players at Northwestern University are employees because they “perform services for the benefit of the employer...more

Whistleblowing the NCAA into Compliance

Mike McQueary was living his dream. A Pennsylvania State College kid who quarterbacked the Penn State University Nittany Lions, McQuery had climbed the ranks from Coach Joe Paterno's graduate assistant to Penn State's...more

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