Many individuals believe that the twenty-first century NCAA collegiate athlete should not be classified as an employee of their respective universities due to the longstanding tradition of amateurism governing collegiate athletics. However, such a proposition does not analysis the statutory test articulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when determining a worker’s employment statues. Upon review of the economic realities test utilized by the FLSA and the common-law agency test utilized by the NLRB, there are strong arguments for collegiate athletes holding employee status resulting from the compensation they receive in the form of scholarships, the duties and responsibilities carried out by the athletes, and the beneficial contributions the athletes make to their respective institutions amongst other things.

Scholars have expressed that the inclusion of NCAA collegiate athletes as employees within the scope of the FLSA and the NLRA would disrupt the nature of collegiate sports and would not promote stability in labor relations. The true nature of collegiate athletics has since evolved from its inception during the nineteenth century. Moreover, the role of athletes has since expanded to warrant such a change. The landscape of collegiate athletics is evolving and there is a great opportunity for the realm of collegiate athletics to grow with the times. The issue of determining the employment status of the NCAA collegiate athlete is ripe for review because the topic comes on the heels of the introduction of a new Senate bill entitled College Athlete Right to Organize Act that essentially classifies collegiate athletes as employees and would allow scholarship athletes the rights flowing from the NLRA, the right to collectively bargain.