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Lawsuit: NCAA Athletics Violate Labor Laws

Add this to the growing number of legal shots fired at the NCAA: A lawsuit filed in federal court says the current setup violates federal labor laws and athletes should be paid. The lawsuit was filed Monday in Indianapolis. The crux of the lawsuit's argument is this: Students in work-study programs—including those who work at NCAA sporting events—get paid, and the athletes should be too.

The lawsuit, which names the NCAA and every Division I school, also points out a unique situation in which it says some student-athletes are allowed to be paid, even though it's for jobs that require less work than playing sports.

Defendant's refusal to recognize, and pay, student athletes as temporary employees of NCAA Division I Member Schools under the FLSA is not only unlawful, but also arbitrary in the Defendants only prohibit employee recognition, and pay, during playing and practice seasons. By contrast, during the summer, NCAA bylaws permit NCAA Division I Member Schools to employ a select few students athletes as temporary employees under the FLSA in less-demanding roles as counselors for sports camps and clinics, and to pay them, on average, $12.11 an hour."


The plaintiff is Samantha Sackos, who played soccer at the University of Houston, although it speaks in broad terms and says little of Sackos' individual experience. The lawsuit also includes a website on the bottom, where the lawyers appear to be soliciting more possible members for a class action.

Image via Associated Press

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