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 #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
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.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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