Villanova alum sues NCAA over student athlete pay

Paul Kurtz
November 10, 2019 - 4:30 am
Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Dontez Ford runs after a pass reception against Villanova Wildcats defensive back Trey Johnson. Johnson sued the NCAA Wednesday over student athlete pay.

Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A former Villanova football player has sued the NCAA and a number of  local schools, over his belief student athletes should be paid.  

In the class action suit filed on Wednesday, Trey Johnson, who played for Villanova from 2013 through 2016, claimed the NCAA and its member schools are the employers of student athletes and therefore should pay them. His attorney, Paul McDonald, compared the athletes to students on work study. 

"Both work study students and student athletes have time sheets that their supervisors are required to maintain," McDonald explained, "so the school effectively treats the student athletes like work study students already. They already have a system where they could easily be placed with work study students. They simply aren't paying them like it."
This is in violation of federal law, according to McDonald, who said he believes the NCAA treats its student athletes more like unpaid prison inmates.

Donald Remy, chief operating officer of the NCAA, said in a statement that the complaint ignores previous court rulings that student athletes are not university employees. He went on to say that the athletic orgnization remains confident that the courts will continue to uphold that precedent. 

The suit comes not long after the NCAA gave student athletes permission to make money off their names, images and likenesses. It includes Villanova, La Salle University, Temple University, Penn State and University of Pennsylvania as defendants.