A class action lawsuit on behalf of college football players alleges violations of minimum wage laws. Filed by a former university player who went on to play for the NFL and now the CFL, accuses the NCAA and many Division I schools of refusing to pay student athletes as they should.
The action – the latest in a string of wage and hour lawsuits against the NCAA by its athletes – follows a recent decision by the league to allow players to profit from their own name, likeness and image, the plaintiff says, isn’t enough. That decision came shortly after California passed a law allowing college athletes to sign endorsement deals. That could end up being a huge break for amateur players, but the reality is, those kind of offers are only going to be available to a select few players. Other students employed by the universities or the NCAA are paid – those who sell the popcorn, those who tear the tickets – why not the players on the field? For most of the players, these games aren’t hobbies – they’re the start of a career. Both training and games are taken on at no small physical risk and personal sacrifice.
The primary plaintiff in the case, who played for the school between 2013 and 2016, asserts that student athletes should be classified similarly to student employees, even more so than the work-study students who are hired to actually work at college games. In his statement, he insisted he wasn’t seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars for any one player, but that it seemed unfair that the NCAA – which brings in close to $1 billion annually – continues to insist the athletes be paid nothing at all. Continue reading