2.16.16

ATLANTA – February 16, 2016 – Donald Prophete, a partner at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP, served as lead counsel for the NCAA and several Division I universities, in the case of Gillian Berger, et al., vs. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al. The Case, was dismissed today by the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana.

Prophete offered the following comments about the resolution of the case:

  • “We are very pleased with the decision because it makes clear that student athletes are not employees within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act.”
  • “The court immediately dismissed any notion that the plaintiffs (who had attended the University of Pennsylvania) had standing to involve the NCAA or any schools other than Penn given that the plaintiffs did not allege in their complaint that they were employees of those other institutions.    Penn was also dismissed as a defendant because student athletes are not employees, the court held.”
  • “The court emphasized the longstanding tradition of amateurism in college sports and the generations of students who have vied for the opportunity to participate in college sports as a beneficial part of their educational experience rather than for the expectation of compensation.  The decision vindicates the NCAA with respect to its amateurism model of intercollegiate sports.”
  • “The court highlighted that the U.S. Department of Labor has been aware of the thousands of students across the country participating in unpaid sports and other activities and has not taken any action.  This is further evidence that the economic reality is that student athletes do not fall under the FLSA’s definition of an employee.”

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