By Ken Reed
What would you call someone who fit the following profile?
- Spends 40+ hours a week on services performed for an organization.
- Can be “fired” for not performing up to the standards set by an organization’s supervisor.
- Signs a contract outlining compensation for services rendered. (Contract also outlines areas of organizational control one must agree to.)
Sounds like an employee to me. It also fits the common law definition of an employee: a person who performs services for another under a contract of hire, subject to the other’s control or right of control, and in return for payment.
Due to the fact that college athletes, specifically football players at Northwestern University, fit this legal definition, NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr ruled Northwestern football players qualify as employees and have a right to form a union. He also found that the NCAA’s amateurism model is bogus.
As Patrick Hruby recently wrote in a SportsOnEarth piece:
“… the true significance of [Ohr’s] ruling isn’t just that he determined big-time college football players to be employees under the common law definition of the term. It’s that in order to make his ruling, he had to test amateurism’s underlying assumptions — both of which he found utterly lacking, in specific, unassailable detail, the way anyone unaddled by a century of college sports romanticism, propaganda, and semantic Jedi mind-tricking would.”
Clearly, the NCAA’s concept of amateurism is a model that’s on life support these days. The sooner the plug’s pulled the better.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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