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Knowledge@Wharton Quotes Stuart Davidson on Student Athlete Controversy

March 27, 2014

Long hours, travel and extreme physical demands often are expected of college athletes, demands that can leave effects that linger long after an athlete retires. Sports programs generate millions of dollars for academic institutions, yet student athletes are the ones left bearing debt in student loans and persisting physical injuries.

Due to two high-profile national cases, more players are now asking for increased benefits, causing collegiate athletic departments and the NCAA to rethink the status quo. The cases challenge the relationships between colleges and student athletes, specifically whether players should be considered employees instead of the current educational relationship that prohibits any financial benefits other than scholarships.

If student athletes were considered employees, they would be eligible for workers’ compensation for injuries, Willig, Williams & Davidson labor and employment attorney Stuart W. Davidson said in a law and public policy piece for Knowledge@Wharton, a publication of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. With evidence of further physical damage such as brain disease appearing years after initial sports injuries, Davidson believes that colleges should have some form of long-term obligations to their players.

Read more from Knowledge@Wharton: At Risk: Are Unpaid College Athletes Exploited While Others Reap Millions?

   
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