The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

NCAA student athletes ought to be recognized as employees under the Fair Labor Standards

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/27/2017 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 6,553 times Debate No: 105341
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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NCAA should not be considers workers. Everyone should be familiar with Berger v. NCAA, 843 F.3d 285 (7th Cir. 2016), a decision last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. There, the appellate panel held that student-athletes were not FLSA employees, so Pro is arguing that Berger was wrongly decided (either as a matter of law or policy).
The opinion and concurrence are quick reads and provide quite a few citations to other works that both sides would do well to read.
In your research, you might also come across O'Bannon v. NCAA, 802 F.3d 1049 (9th Cir. 2015). This was a case by a former student-athlete claiming that the NCAA's treatment violated antitrust law. So this wasn't an FLSA case and isn't directly on-point for this resolution, but it does go into NCAA's history and touches on the employee/non-employee question when deciding the antitrust claim, so it's also worth a read.
Approximately three percent of male and female high school basketball players go on to play college basketball, and only about one percent of those players turn pro. those who are likely to be early draft picks for the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, or WNBA " are permitted to purchase NCAA-sponsored disability insurance to protect against future loss of earnings as a professional athlete if they are approved by a program administrator. Loans are available to cover the cost of the insurance, which means that like the required basic coverage before the catastrophic insurance kicks in, student-athletes must foot the bill.
Not saying not to help them out if they're playing for you and have a career ending injury the school or NCAA should help out with bill and make a plan with them but not recognize them as employees under the fair labor standards Act.


For my argument I have two main contentions A) College athletes risk their bodies for the benefit of the school and B) The amount of time these athletes spend on these sports is harmful in many ways.
A) College athletes, on average spending 40-60 hours a week on their sport, are putting themselves at huge risk of injury. College football players face a 34% chance of suffering one or more concussions and athletes in general are prone to repeated stress injuries and harm. This is all for the benefit of the school, with colleges earning a total of $1.1 billion in the 2014-15 school year from sport sponsorships alone; meanwhile, this does not compare to the amount they give in athletic scholarships each year. Also, if a student suffers an injury they can be held from all academics such as if they suffer a concussion they can not do schoolwork for some time and can put them behind their peers which will harm them later on in life when they graduate at the bottom of their class, all the while the school is bathing in they millions they earned while that player was on the court/field/etc.

B) As I mentioned previously the average student athlete spends anywhere from 40-60 hours in a single week on their sport, this is when it crosses the line of being an extracurricular and becomes a job. Working this long actually qualifies them to receive full benefits of the Fair Labor Standards Act as it says that any full time student has the right to apply for a certificate that limits their hours to only 20 each week school is in session with a limited wage and if not they must receive at least minimum wage and this includes any form of employment through a college which is what we are arguing. Also, spending this much time on the sport makes them even more prone to injuries due to repeated tasking physical activity, which falls back into contention A. Next, working this many hours limits a student's ability to have free hours because of other requirements such as classes and homework, because of this they have no time to get money from a different job to supply themselves with essentials that scholarships don't provide, such as hygiene products or others essentials. This leaves them struggling to maintain a healthy living while competing in their sport. This will also harm them when they graduate as they have no money support to lean on when they graduate in that period until they find a steady job. Also, sports take time away from schoolwork, with this huge time commitment athletes often struggle to balance school and sports, this could often cause them to struggle in their classes and could put them behind their classmates which could harm their chances at getting the best job for them coming out of college. Overall, placing college athletes under the sanctions of the Fair Labor Standards Acts allows them to have a better life after graduation as well as limiting their risk for injury.

In conclusion, we are facing a problem with the conflict of athletes being treated as workers providing a service for their schools and scholarships are not a paycheck, a paycheck would help them cover all that is necessary for them which right now is not happening. Overall, colleges are not doing their job if they are risking their students chances for future success for their own benefit.

Thank You.
Debate Round No. 1


My appoints main points were students are getting hurt for the schools, But you have to rember students choose to play there not forced to. I can do good in Law school but I am not going to get paid to keep debating in a court just because I am good at it. The next point was the amount of time is harmful ok once again its a choose. and the NCAA only allows them to work no more then 40 hours a week if they go over time that's on them. and we feel for them so if they're playing for you and have a career ending injury the school or NCAA should help out with bill and make a plan with them but not recognize them as employees under the fair labor standards Act.


First, I will start by rebutting my opponent's contentions in their first speech. So, they first argue that it has been settled before in the court of law that student athletes are not employees and therefore should not be payed as such. But yet that is exactly what we are debating here, to say a student who is playing their sport for 40 hours a week, risking their own health to represent their school is not an employee of the school is just ridiculous. An employee is anyone who provides a physical service to someone, and in return they should receive some sort of compensation. Then in their second speech they say okay students could get hurt, but it is the students choice to play; however, this is just not true to a point, as many athletes as I said can't work and can't earn money so they have to play to retain their scholarship so it limits their other expenses. Also, a very high percentage of student athletes come from poor backgrounds and cannot afford college without athletic scholarships, so they need to play if they want to stay in college. Next my opponent argues against the harmful amount of time by saying once again it is a choice, which I already rebutted, and that if they go overtime past NCAA standards it is their own fault, but this doesn't work as going over the NCAA standards is against their limits and rules, and even if they stayed within the NCAA standards of 40 hours that is still way too high for no compensation return as they still with this "low" hours they still have schoolwork in their schedule. Also, the con's injury insurance plan paying treatment bills for athletes who got hurt in their sport are invalid because after they suffer a career ending injury they are often taking off of scholarship so just paying for their treatment would not solve anything.

Overall, the con provides no clear explanation to why paying college athletes would be a bad thing, they just try to provide bare descriptions of why they shouldn't be payed because it is their choice to play and they are not being considered employees now.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by fccorder 2 years ago
I am a high school students and am in speech and debate I need help with my new topic and any ideas are helpful!
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