Sports Business Journal

In an article published April 18, 2024 in the Sports Business Journal, Constangy senior counsel Chris Deubert looked at the implications of the current trend in collegiate athletics of student-athletes attempting to professionalize.

The article delves into the topic of whether student-athletes should be treated as employees by their respective institutions. It explores the practical considerations that need to be considered before making any such decision, including compensation, taxes, collective bargaining, NIL rights, health insurance, workers' compensation, and employer rights.

According to Deubert, treating student-athletes as employees would have ripple effects throughout collegiate athletics, potentially upending the affiliation between student-athletes and their institutions. This could lead to unforeseen consequences as the NCAA is already beginning to face a slew of antitrust, labor, and employment actions regarding its restrictions on student-athlete compensation.

The article stressed the need for a balanced approach when considering the employee status of student-athletes. It is crucial to thoroughly evaluate the practical implications before making any decisions, as the outcomes could be substantial for both the athletes and their institutions. The article suggested that institutions must carefully weigh the pros and cons of such a classification, ensuring fair and equitable treatment of their student-athletes.

"The consequences of treating student-athletes as employees are far-reaching and could have a significant impact on the relationship between institutions and their athletes," explained Deubert. "It would certainly change the nature of the relationship and could lead to unintended consequences." 

For the full article, please click here.

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