Suit: college football players employees under California law

A class action suit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) cites California law, as well as the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, to argue that college football players should be deemed employees subject to minimum wage and overtime law. I find it a stretch for reasons quoted in the report [Robert Teachout, SHRM]


  • They need to be careful for what they wish for. If they are considered employees, that would mean that their tuition, room and board could be considered income. I wonder what the IRS would think of that?

  • Jim, think of the possibilities. They’ll be part of the entertainment-industrial complex. They need agents, union representation, a cut of the merchandising, bonuses for a winning season, and so forth. Who cares about the IRS? This could be Yuuuuge!

  • Let’s take this further. If college football players are employees, then what about basketball players? What about volleyball and soccer? Should we extend it to all extracurriculars, or just those extracurricular activities that draw a crowd? If the former, then the Foreign Films club need to be paid to watch 1950’s-era French films. If the latter, then how much will the campus’ student actors be paid to put on a production of Hamlet?