‘Nothing solidified’: Uncertainty looms over student-athlete employment

Cardinal House (C-House), a group of representatives from each of Stanford’s 36 athletic teams, debated but did not reach a conclusion on the employment status of student-athletes at its Monday meeting. 

Following the Dartmouth men’s basketball team’s vote to unionize in March and the National Labor Relations Board’s lawsuit against USC for unlawful labor practices against football and basketball players, the potential for collegiate student-athlete employment has been a hot topic.

The Daily reported in March that during the last C-House meeting, Stanford Athletics Director Bernard Muir told athletes to begin thinking about what an employment model at Stanford could look like. 

For Elise Evans, a sophomore defender on the women’s soccer team, Monday’s meeting was a time where student-athletes were able to learn about the potential ramifications of employment and unionization.

Evans said that there is no concrete plan to proceed forward and that student-athletes as a whole have not landed on a specific direction.

“From what I could tell with the representatives, people are intrigued to hear about it and what it means for their livelihoods,” Evans said. “Are some teams gonna be making more money? Also how does this affect international students, who will have to be on an employment visa?”

Evans also told The Daily that the discussion about employment was internal to the representatives and did not involve Muir.

Beyond employment, the representatives also discussed potential changes involving academic accommodations and NIL.

Meredith Basil, an associate dean of academic advising, said that while nothing has been confirmed yet, talks are ongoing with the University about giving priority enrollment to athletes and recording lectures.

These talks follow a joint resolution from the Undergraduate Senate (UGS) and Graduate Student Council’s (GSC) to support student-athletes in their transition to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). 

The representatives were also informed that Stanford’s in-house name, image, likeness (NIL) general manager position, created in coordination with Altius Sports Partners, would be filled by the end of May.