Are college football players employees? The NLRB, at least on the regional level, said yes. See my prior post regarding that ruling here. In a similar case, one former college basketball player, Ed O’Bannon, sued the NCAA for using his name and image in marketing. The NCAA has long used the names and images of current and former players in marketing efforts. A lower court had found in favor of the former players. The district court had ordered deferred payments for current student athletes.
But, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals saw things differently. The higher court opinion said offering payments to students not related to education expenses would go too far. That would be a “quantum leap” over the current system which bases payments on education expenses. The higher court did agree that the NCAA rules are subject to anti-trust scrutiny, indicating future challenges are likely. See CBS news report.