Under the National Labor Relations Act, the National Labor Relations Board has ordered a union election for the 15 players on the Dartmouth men’s basketball team. They are arguing that they are employees of the school and are should be eligible to unionize. The players all signed a petition to join Local 560 of the Service Employees International Union back in September.
“Because Dartmouth has the right to control the work performed by the Dartmouth men’s basketball team, and the players perform that work in exchange for compensation, I find that the petitioned-for basketball players are employees within the meaning of the [National Labor Relations] Act,” NLRB Regional Director Laura A. Sacks ruled.
What does this mean for the rest of the NCAA?
This ruling could change the way we look at collegiate sports. The athletes are not employees, but students in the eyes of the NCAA. The Dartmouth attorneys do not consider the members of the team employees due to the fact that the Ivy League men’s basketball program loses hundreds of thousands of dollars every season.
Cade Haskins, a junior forward for the Big Green, believes the school protocols and conditions justify the players being formally seen as employees. He also argued that if student managers get paid through a work-study program, then student athletes should be compensated as well.
The NCAA states that amateur athletes can’t be paid by schools. If you get paid, you are no longer considered an amateur, which makes you ineligible to participate in collegiate sports.
We’ve already seen the positive feed back that the new NIL deals been receiving. It’s only a matter of time til we see the bigger programs across the NCAA fight for their rights not only as a student athlete, but as an employee.
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