November 7, 2023, could turn into a monumental day within the historical past of the Nationwide Collegiate Athletic Affiliation (NCAA). It’s the first day of a probably groundbreaking listening to. Area 21 of the Nationwide Labor Relations Board might be listening to a case introduced by members of the soccer, males’s basketball, and girls’s basketball groups in opposition to the College of Southern California (USC), the PAC-12, and the NCAA. The crux of their argument is that the three main entities ought to be thought-about “joint employers” who’ve systematically misclassified the gamers as “student-athletes” fairly than as workers.
The implications of this Board listening to may have far-reaching implications throughout the nation. The NLRB Basic Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo has already signaled that, in her opinion, sure gamers at schools and universities ought to qualify as workers of their establishments. If the executive regulation decide have been to agree with Abruzzo’s opinion, the influence on the nationwide panorama of collegiate athletics could be fast.
If these gamers are discovered to be workers, every participant could be entitled to the advantages of historically employed people, equivalent to compensation, extra time, social safety, employee’s compensation, well being and security protections, protections in opposition to discrimination and harassment, and a statutory proper to unionize and collectively discount for a share of collegiate sport revenues.
Whereas being discovered to be workers could be checked out as a significant win for the impacted gamers, such a willpower would trigger sophisticated points for schools and universities throughout the nation. These points embody compliance with Title IX of the Training Amendments of 1972 and the Immigration Nationality Act, amongst others. Additional, having some groups however not others qualify probably will create a two-tier system all through the nation. This divide could be even additional enhanced if the Board finds sure gamers, however not others, qualify as workers.
Testimony is not going to be heard till the week of December 18, on the earliest. Greater training establishments, gamers, and followers alike might be monitoring this listening to because it progresses.
Jackson Lewis’ Collegiate and Skilled Business Group is on the market to help universities, conferences, or different stakeholders in coping with issues earlier than the Board or in any other case involving the suitable classification of student-athletes.