Friday, August 27, 2021

Athletes as Employees


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

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1. Athletes as Employees

Opinion | The Supreme Court's ruling on the NCAA payment limits for student- athletes is welcome - The Washington Post
by Michael McCann, Yahoo!Sports

"While their litigation remains a long way from victory, six current and former athletes from a handful of colleges—Villanova, Fordham, Sacred Heart, Cornell and Lafayette—received encouraging news Wednesday from Pennsylvania federal judge John Padova, who denied those schools’ motion to dismiss Ralph “Trey” Johnson et al. v. NCAA.

The case centers on the claim that college athletes are employees under both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state labor laws and are owed minimum wage. A motion to dismiss raised by fellow defendants NCAA and others has not yet been decided.

Johnson v. NCAA draws on a different federal law than the one cited by Kain Colter and other Northwestern football players in their effort seven years ago to be declared employees. The players in Johnson invoke the FLSA, which governs minimum wage and overtime pay, whereas Kolter’s petition to the National Labor Relations Board relied on the National Labor Relations Act, which protects the right of employees to unionize.

The Johnson v. NCAA players—three women and three men—have petitioned Judge Padova to certify their case as a class action. The judge’s denial of the motion to dismiss will likely enable the players’ attorneys to gain access to emails and sworn testimony from school officials."

>> Point: "Judge Padova detailed how college athletes “must schedule classes around their required NCAA athletic activities” and that many “have reported that participation in NCAA [Division I] sports have prevented them from taking classes that they wanted to take.” Likewise, he noted that athletic programs and coaches, much like employers and bosses, “exercise significant control over their student athletes” regarding how they spend their time and potential disciplinary matters."

>> Counterpoint: "The schools assert that players are enrolled as students, not employees. They also cite precedent from other cases where similar lawsuits were rejected. They draw attention to Berger v. NCAA, a 2016 case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in which the court reasoned that college athletes are amateurs and thus can’t be employees."

>> Be Smart: "For now, the law is one step closer to recognizing college athletes as employees."

>> Keep Reading


2. Empire 8 Grows to 10


The Empire 8 Conference is pleased to announce the addition of Medaille College effective with the 2022-23 academic year.

Medaille currently sponsors 19 Division III sports, with 17 set to compete in the Empire 8. With the addition of Medaille, the E8 will be comprised of 10 members all located in New York State. The conference currently sponsors 23 NCAA Division III sports.

>> What They're Saying: “Medaille College is a natural fit for the Empire 8,” said Empire 8 Commissioner Chuck Mitrano. “They are a competitive academic institution with great leadership at all levels and outstanding facilities that fits into our geographic footprint. Moreover, like Empire 8, Medaille is committed to the critical educational role that intercollegiate athletics plays in higher education as we shape tomorrow’s leaders.”

>> What's Next: “The Empire 8 has an outstanding record of being one of the top Division III conferences with their success of student-athletes in the classroom and on the playing fields. We look forward to building new relationships and rivalries within the conference.” - Medaille College Director of Athletics Susan Roarke

>> Go Deeper


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3.  Competing With Flagships

by Michael T. Neitzel, Forbes

", a small private college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, announced on Tuesday that it will provide an annual $30,000 scholarship to students from five surrounding states. Dubbed the ,” it will be available to first-year students from the neighboring states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, and Nebraska who apply for admission for the 2022-23 school year. 

The scholarship is renewable for four years for students from the five Midwest states, plus Kansas City, Kansas. One of the basic ideas behind it was to lower the cost of attendance at Cornell to a price that was comparable to the flagship public universities in those states. With this aid, Cornell claims it will be within $3,250 of the average of those five colleges.

Small colleges, which are generally heavily dependent on tuition to fund their ongoing operations, have experimented with a number of pricing strategies to attract new students and maintain enrollment. The most frequent approach is what’s called “tuition discounting,” usually through institutional aid that is delivered in the form of so-called merit scholarships."

>> Quotable: “We researched five different flagship state institutions in our neighboring states, and we know that with this scholarship we are within reach of the same price of their attendance, and at Cornell students get a high-quality private education,” said Vice President for Enrollment Management Wendy Beckemeyer. (Cornell’s published tuition for this year is $47,100.)"

>> Of Note: "Cornell may have hit something of a sweet spot with its targeted approach. It’s not making a wholesale tuition reset. And, according to Beckemeyer, the school’s overall discount rate was unchanged as a result of this year’s Iowa Promise Scholarship."

>> Continue Reading

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4.  Winningest Teams

The 2021 Division III football season gets underway next weekend. Here is a list of the winningest programs courtesy of the NCAA.

  1. Mount Union, 813-388-38
  2. Wittenberg, 780-363-31
  3. Washington & Jefferson, 755-396-40
  4. Widener, 710-432-39
  5. Wabash, 696-392-59
  6. Williams, 656-387-47
  7. Saint John's, 653-251-24
  8. Amherst, 651-420-54
  9. Franklin & Marshall, 642-499-47
  10. Central, 633-330-26
  11. Albion, 632-419-43
  12. Westminster, Pa., 632-440-54
  13. Centre, 625-425-37
  14. Coe, 619-406-37
  15. Linfield, 617-261-30
  16. Wisconsin-Whitewater, 615-260-21
  17. Ohio Wesleyan, 603-523-44
  18. Baldwin Wallace, 601-355-30

>> Knocking on 600's Door: Trinity (Conn.) 598, DePauw 593, Illinois Wesleyan 589

>> Strive for Five-Hundred: Franklin 499, Hanover 499, Simpson 497, Grove City 496, Heidelberg 495, Maryville 494, Howard Payne 493, 


5.  Comings and Goings

6. Don't Say This at a Job Interview

A man sitting in a job interview.
Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

"Motivated," "innovative" and "trustworthy" are three overused buzzwords that make hiring managers' eyes glaze over, according to a survey of 1,000 of them by the H.R. software maker ZenefitsJennifer A. Kingson writes.

Why it matters: A lot of people are looking for jobs — or to change jobs — and many of us (ahem) have rusty interview skills.

Details: Zenefits found that "the most common mistakes during video interviews include criticizing previous employers, consuming takeaway coffees and not explaining employment gaps."

  • 10% of hiring managers "reported their candidate did not show up on time to their Zoom interview or had trouble with the technology."
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