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Congressional Committee Advances Bill to Prevent College Athletes from Being Deemed Employees

 |  June 13, 2024

A Congressional committee voted Thursday to advance a bill that would prevent college athletes from being classified as employees of their schools, conferences, or the NCAA. This vote by the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing efforts to reshape the landscape of college athletics through federal legislation.

The bill, introduced by Representative Bob Good (R-Virginia) on the same day an antitrust lawsuit settlement was announced, represents the first tangible progress in the college sports industry’s push for a federal law. This proposed legislation arrives in the wake of a major settlement agreement where the NCAA and its power conferences committed to sharing significantly more revenue with athletes.

However, the bill is still in its early stages and is expected to encounter significant hurdles. Opposition from Senate Democrats and potential legal challenges loom large over its future prospects.

Read more: Justice Department Moves to End NCAA Transfer Rule

The NCAA is currently embroiled in multiple legal battles where the core issue is whether college athletes should be granted employee rights. One notable case, Johnson v. NCAA, is in federal court seeking minimum wage and workplace protections for college athletes. Additionally, two active cases before the National Labor Relations Board are advocating for the right of college athletes to form unions and engage in collective bargaining.

NCAA President Charlie Baker expressed hope that the recent antitrust settlement, pending judicial approval, would establish a framework that allows schools to compensate athletes without classifying them as employees. Baker asserted that most college athletes do not desire employee status.

Source: ESPN