Colleges Preparing For Student Athletes To Gain Employee Status Per Team Official

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A seismic shift could be just on the horizon for college athletics.

The world of college sports changed drastically when the federal government ruled that athletes could profit off of their name, image, and likeness.

But that change would be just a drop in the bucket compared to what one team official believes is coming around the bend.

Colleges Could Soon Deem Athletes As Employees And Pay Them A Salary

According to one team official, schools are preparing for college athletes to be granted employee status in the coming years. That means the universities would pay athletes a salary, perhaps in place of or on top of a scholarship.

Matt Zenitz of On3 Sports broke the news.

“The rule’s not going to pass even though there’s overwhelming support for two reasons,” the team official said. “One, everyone agrees any staff member should be able to coach during practice but it’s somewhat split on anyone coaching during games. Two, schools are preparing for student-athletes to be employees, so trying to have the money to pay them and don’t want to have to pay unlimited coaches.” – via On3 Sports

The comment came in reference to a major backtrack of the Division I Council. The council tabled a rule change that would have seen structure of college football staffs change dramatically.

The proposed rule would allow analysts and other off-field staffers to coach during practice. But now that’s off the table.

Previous reports suggested that the rule would pass without issue. But now that’s no longer the case.

American Football Coaches Association executive director Todd Berry said he was disappointed in the change.

“I’ve told the group that I’m disappointed because we led people to believe that something was going to happen,” Berry said. “And not just us, but a lot of entities because there were a lot of conversations kind of going on privately and publicly about that this was likely to happen. And while I know that there’s always risk that things aren’t going to turn out until they actually happen and you don’t do things until they actually happen, we have a lot of coaches that have made moves based off an assumption and now you’re talking about their whole career has changed.”

The decision not to alter the rule will have significant short-term effects on programs. But the bigger story here is the suggested reasoning. The entire landscape of college athletics will change dramatically should athletes be deemed employees.

Whether that’s a good thing is yet to be seen.