NCAA & Division I Schools are Named in FLSA Lawsuit
On Monday, October 20, the NCAA and all of its member schools were named defendants in an FLSA action alleging violations for failure to pay employees the federal minimum wage. The plaintiff in this action is yet another former student-athlete seeking compensation for participating in NCAA athletics.
Samantha Sackos attended the University of Houston and played for the Division I women’s soccer team. Sackos brought this suit, naming the NCAA and each Div. I school, alleging the schools’ refusal to pay student-athletes under the guise of amateur status is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA requires employees as defined therein must be paid a minimum wage of $7.25/hr. The NCAA has maintained the position throughout all of its other litigation that the student-athletes are not employees and they receive compensation through scholarships.
Sackos strengthens her argument by comparing student-athletes to work study programs. The complaint utilizes an in-depth comparison of work study to student-athletes showing they are similar in many respects. Sackos is also sure to point out that work study participants are on average paid well above the federal minimum wage. The lawsuit seeks a recovery of unpaid wages and an injunction to stop the alleged wage violation.