Should College Athletes Be Paid to Play? Michigan State Law Professors Robert and Amy McCormick Say Division I College Athletes Qualify as 'Employees' under Federal Labor Laws
Cooper, Kenneth J., Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Is playing big-time college sports an extracurricular activity or a job? Two law professors at Michigan State University, Robert and Amy McCormick, think it is definitely a job for football and basketball players on athletic scholarships at Division I schools. The married couple has added a new dimension to the long debate over paying athletes by arguing they are "employees" under federal labor laws and entitled to form unions and negotiate wages, hours and working conditions.
"There are more demands put on these young men than any employee of the university," says Robert McCormick, who was an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board under President Jimmy Carter. "These young men are laboring under very strict and arduous conditions, so they really are laborers in terms of the physical demands on them while they're also trying to go to school and being required to go to school."
The way football and basketball players in Division I programs manage juggling sport and school, the McCormicks maintain, undermines the NCAA's contention they are student-athletes.
"Athletes don't have free choice of what major they take if …
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Publication information: Article title: Should College Athletes Be Paid to Play? Michigan State Law Professors Robert and Amy McCormick Say Division I College Athletes Qualify as 'Employees' under Federal Labor Laws. Contributors: Cooper, Kenneth J. - Author. Magazine title: Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Volume: 28. Issue: 10 Publication date: June 23, 2011. Page number: 12. © 2008 Cox, Matthews & Associates. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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