Notre Dame dragged into 'student or employee' debate after NLRB filing

CBPA files NLRB complaint against Notre Dame, sparking debate on student-athlete status amid changing compensation policies.
Clemson v Notre Dame
Clemson v Notre Dame / Pool/GettyImages

Whether it wanted to be or not, Notre Dame is now smack dab in the middle of the debate as to whether or not football, baseball, basketball and any other student-athlete at the school are actually student-athletes, or actually employees.

They are in the middle of it thanks to the College Basketball Players Association (CBPA), led by Michael Hsu, filing an unfair practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Dennis Dodd was among the first to report the filing as well as providing images of the complaint on X.

The good news here is that the CBPA filing the complaint means that there wasn’t a Notre Dame athlete at the center of this. It does raise the question as to why Notre Dame was the focus of this particular filing. 

This isn’t the first time that Hsu has taken this action. He also filed complaints with the NLRB against Northwestern, Dartmouth and USC. In November of 2021, Hsu, who is a former University of Minnesota regent, filed an unfair labor practice charge against the NCAA as a whole.

It’s clear that people like Hsu and other activists out there believe they have a better argument against schools like Notre Dame because of the loosening of player compensation through NIL policies. On the other hand, 

Notre Dame at the center of latest NLRB complaint

In speaking to Sportico Hsu made it clear that he knows this filing is going to take a while to weave its way through the system.

“The clock is ticking because of the political calendar,” Hsu said in a phone interview. “I don’t know if they’ll get any work done on this in 2024. I am sure Notre Dame will hire all the best law firms—maybe even better than USC’s—but my hope is to at least get something in process.”