NLRB rules that Northwestern University football players are employees

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Good afternoon:

Peter Sung Ohr, the Regional Director for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a Decision in 13-RC-121359 finding that Grant-in-aid scholarship football players enrolled at Northwestern University qualify as employees under the NLRA given the amount of revenue they generate for the university and time they spend on football related activities as opposed to student activities. Therefore, he has issued an order directing that an election take place.

His decision has caused a lot of controversy primarily from people who cling to the quaint idea that athletes on scholarships are student athletes and amateurs, not professionals.

Football teams for Division I universities generate millions of dollars in revenues for their respective universities. The players who devote so much of their time to football that they have little time to do anything else. They also risk serious injury every time they play in a game. Since the NCAA prohibits paying the players, the universities get to keep most of the money that the players generate.

There is something fundamentally unfair about that arrangement and it’s long past time to abandon the requirement that Division I football players must remain amateurs in order to continue to play for their teams.

What do you think?

27 Responses to NLRB rules that Northwestern University football players are employees

  1. bettykath says:

    (FOX 11 / FOX News) A Superior Court judge who sentenced a wealthy du Pont heir to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter noted in her order that he “will not fare well” in prison and needed treatment instead of time behind bars, court records show.

    Judge Jan Jurden’s sentencing order for Robert H. Richards IV suggested that she considered unique circumstances when deciding his punishment for fourth-degree rape. Her observation that prison life would adversely affect Richards was a rare and puzzling rationale, several criminal justice authorities in Delaware said. Some also said her view that treatment was a better idea than prison is a justification typically used when sentencing drug addicts, not child rapists.

    Read more:

  2. towerflower says:

    I’m in Florida but a single mother with an absent father. I went to a lawyer early on to ensure that he would be taken care of. What I was told was basically that unless the father signed away his rights he still had a right and as his father he would go to him regardless of what my will would state. So the next step if he did choose to take him would be to protect his assets so that the father would not drain everything and then pass the child off to another when everything was gone.

    I picked a trusted family member to be the executor of the estate and they would control all financial situations until my son would turn a certain age.

    But I saved every email, had a record of every phone call and what was discussed, anything that might help my family retain control if a fight ensured.

    The important thing is I had a trust set up and everything spelled out.

    • Trained Observer says:

      Solid moves, towerflower.

      FYI, Public Television presently has a Suze Orman Power Pack available for $252 (tax deductible for the pledge, fyi ), plus $5 shipping and handling.

      It’s good for all 50 states and includes formats prepared by Orman’s personal trust lawyer for a will, revocable living trust, health care directive, power of attorney,and more. Similar docs from any local attorney would cost nearly $3,000,might not be as airtight, and might come with additional fees when death occurs. , Orman’s docs can be changed by the owner whenever suitable for no additional fees.

      Dying intestate is a sure-fire way to piss away estate proceeds on probate and lawyer fees even when those involved aren’t crooks.

  3. bettykath says:

    I could use some help from the legal researchers here.

    Situation is: death of single mother of one child, no co-habitation with father of child, permanent restraining order to keep him away from her prior to birth of child, no child support or contact between them since his arrest that led to restraining order. She died intestate with an estate worth fighting for. What are the laws of Texas? Some links would be helpful

    I’ve read about the laws re: spouses, children, etc. but not a case where there is no spouse but there is a child from a completely absent father.

    • Trained Observer says:

      Unfortunately, too late now for your niece … but for other family members, see below. All the best on protecting the child and assets that rightfully should go to the child without being drained by the courts and related legal claptrap.

  4. Two sides to a story says:

    I’ve been watching with interest the protests in Albuquerque over the brutal killing of yet another homeless person. Citizens are rocking it. While I don’t practice or promote violence, I don’t know what it’s going to take to push back against police brutality. I heard that Anon was taking down the APD website yesterday, but haven’t followed up until this AM to see what’s happening. By the way, I live in LA quake area but have been staying with kids and grandkids in San Diego, so missed the excitement. My family says it’s been unnerving with over 30 aftershocks. I was hoping the Fullerton PD might rock and roll, but no joy.

  5. bettykath says:

    Good decision. There are definitely some wrinkles to be ironed out, e.g. NCAA rules. Expect more changes. Actually, expect appeals if they are possible.

  6. sherna lee says:

    Is it true zboy just sold a
    rendition of Trayvon for 30000

    • Malisha says:

      I doubted that rumor so I googled “George Zimmerman” together with “30,000” and “Trayvon Martin” and NOTHING turned up suggesting that Fogen either “painted” or sold any portrait of Trayvon Martin. I think he would not bother to paint a likeness of his murder victim because he did not consider him to be human. Also, I think that if he tried to sell a portrait of Trayvon Martin, somebody actually WOULD kill him.

  7. Dave says:

    If these players are considered employees (as are minor league baseball players) it would follow that their in-kind “wages” (room and board, tuition etc.) would be taxable income. Where is the money going to come from to pay those taxes?

    • Trained Observer says:

      If the player kids, student managers, etc. are paid to play at a fair rate, they’ll have plenty of money for room, board, tuition taxes, 401K/ IRA savings, grad school and more. ,

    • racerrodig says:

      They wouldn’t be taxed on anything that is not a cash, or material payout. Room, board, tuition, food, utilities would be exempt. If one of them is given a car, and it’s traced properly, he’d owe tax on that, the same as cash. My sons god father is an IRS criminal investigator and we were listening a sports radio program this week and the station brought up the tax issues.

      If anything, the school would have far more financial burden as the lawyers will come out of the wood work looking for every dime their client could possibly be eligible for.

      Personally, I think the players should be paid something based on performance. But then again I’m old school and think most NFL contracts should have more incentive based money and less guaranteed money BUT the medical long term should be far greater than it is and the safety aspect get better as to equipment.

    • Malisha says:

      Frankly, the employee or student status of college football players is something on which I have actually no opinion whatsoever. FINALLY, something on which I have NO OPINION! That takes the cake!

      (But I do have an opinion on what kind of cake.) 😆

  8. J4TMinATL says:

    Personally, Peter can kiss it. : )

  9. colin black says:

    How can they be considered studious ?

    Even In lower levels of schooling junior high high school not all .

    Some B Hoops playes are academical giftes as are a few wrestlers.

    Nut in reality most jock get scholarshipe due to prowness at sporsts as oppose academia.

    This not hidden everyone know Jocks are given a pass on education.

    Not all are dumb as rocks an could acheive if they hit the books.

    But know they hit the track or the pool or tennis court what ever sport they are convinces they will hit pay dirt with.

    An become the next big thing .

    In reality less than one percent of one percent .

    Thats one outa a thousand actually makes it through to the pro ranks .

    An even then a igh persentage get cut dureing pre season .

    Or traded to a lesser semi pro set up in sports like base ball.

    And thease Kids are left tottaly broken washed out dreams ended before there even early 20s.

    If you get the chance watch the documentry hoop dreams.

    • colin black says:

      That Is If you have not already watched It.

    • J4TMinATL says:

      Love that documentary Hoop Dreams, Colin. It’s a classic.

    • gblock says:

      I think that you have some false impressions, Colin. In fact, American universities have many sports teams. But many of these issues have to due mostly with American football. At many schools, students recruited as football players are likely to be on full scholarships (including room and board) and during football season, are expected to devote as many hours to football-related activities as would be required by a full-time job, leaving little time for academic work.

      Most other sports are not like this. Some of the top athletes in the other sports will get scholarships, but in most cases they will be partial scholarships, and many of the students participating in the sport will not be on athletic scholarships at all. And while there are likely to be daily workouts and practices, the schedules are not likely to be so heavy that they would prevent students from taking the classes that they need.

      It is true that in many popular sports, the number of young people aspiring to professional careers in the sport is many times more than the number who actually make it.

  10. colin black says:


    So Soreeejust recovered this link to one o my guests wedd9 photos

    pleas move if inaprop

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