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NCAA Athletes Take Next Step to Becoming Employees

Quote of the Week:
“Sometimes the adventure doesn’t come to you, sometimes you have to look for the adventure.” –George Jags

Fun Fact of the Week:

Pandas can eat up to 80 pounds of bamboo per day. Bamboo offers very little nutritional value, requiring the pandas to eat large quantities. Pandas might spend up to fourteen hours in a single day munching on their favorite snack.

News Update:

The great debate: Should college athletes get paid? Regardless of the many opinions flying around, the athletes have moved one step closer to achieving monumental change.

According to Sports Illustrated, “On Tuesday, the National College Players Association [NCPA] filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the NCAA office, the Pac-12 Conference and California schools USC and UCLA as single and joint employers of FBS football players and Division I men’s and women’s basketball players. The goal is to affirm employee status for D-I basketball players and FBS football players.”

The NLRB, an independent agency, enforces U.S. labor law as it relates to collective bargaining. Jennifer Abruzzo, the new NLRB general counsel, has continued to encourage athletes to take action. In a September memo she classified them as “employees.”

“By definition, college athletes are employees under labor law,” NCPA’s executive director, Ramogi Huma, said. “They are skilled workers in their sport and are paid scholarships. They deserve the rights afforded to them under labor laws like every other American.”

There are many opponents to the sweeping changes, with critics worrying how an employee status will affect the “student” part of student-athletes. Another worry is how sports will fare that do not generate much or any profit.

Still, the battle goes on, with a decision on the new filings not expected to be made for at least 18 months. When it is made, however, it will affect everyone.

“If we win, it will be applicable across the nation,” Huma says.

Sports Illustrated contributed to this article.

Sports Update:

While the debate around athletes getting paid rages on, so do the actual sports themselves. However, we won’t be focusing on an NCAA sport this week, but several former college athletes in the Olympics.

In fact, there are over 200 current and former NCAA athletes at the winter games. There were more than 1,000 at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The NCAA is proud to claim that over 500,000 athletes will go pro in something other than sports. “A very small percentage, however, go pro in a different sport.”

Elana Meyers Taylor is a former softball player at George Washington. She qualified for her fourth Olympics in bobsled. Jake Brown, a former three-sport athlete at St. Olaf (cross country, Nordic skiing and track and field) qualified for his first Olympics in biathlon.

Via Insider and Jen Meyers/AP

Both athletes said their time spent in college athletics was hugely important to their success in their winter sport.

"One of the biggest things is that as a bobsled pilot, you're a leader in your sport. You lead a team; you manage a team. I was in that leadership position (at George Washington), and I really learned it there," Taylor said. "Leading that team really taught me how to work with other people, how to manage a team, how to deal with different personalities."

"For college athletics, the biggest thing is being able to balance it all,” Brown said. “Whether you're a multisport athlete … to balance that with your studies is the number one difficulty every athlete faces, and every college student knows that. That doesn't change, even when you're a 'professional' doing your sport full time.”

"There's just so much in life that you have to balance, and you have to be able to prioritize. Having been a college athlete gives me a little bit of a leg up on other people who came out straight from high school and tried to keep doing biathlon or cross country skiing.”

For a full list of NCAA Athletes competing in the Olympics, check out the link below:

The NCAA News contributed to this article.

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