Student-Fans, Like Student-Athletes, Are College “Employees” … That Is, If We Value “Fairness”
The late Rick Hader (Bill Hader’s uncle) coached my brother in 8th grade football. A generation of athletes know Rick as Coach Hader, but most know him as someone completely different. To most, Rick was the great Myron Noodleman.
Myron Noodleman — a bowtied, bespectacled “nerd” — entertained Minor League baseball crowds across the country. Wikipedia lists him as an “American clown,” but that’s far from correct. As part of the game-day experience, Myron Noodleman was employed — not a mascot but a hired gun — to improve the game, to excite the crowd, to increase the value of a ticket. He was, in all aspects, a paid superfan.
The “superfan” is “an extremely enthusiastic or dedicated fan” … a/k/a/ Rick Hader as Myron Noodleman. Because of this, teams rewarded Rick for his attendance. As with Rick, the time has come to reward all of our superfans … at least at the college level. Because if our student-athletes are identifiable as “employees,” then so are the student-fans who cheer them on.
Student “Employees” Under The NLRB
Recently, the National College Players Association filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), seeking to affirm employee status for D-I basketball players and FBS football players. This filing was sparked by a September 2021 memo from NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo, who said:
[A]n employee includes a person “who perform[s] services for another and [is] subject to the other’s control or right of control.” In addition, “[c]onsideration, i.e., payment, is strongly indicative of employee status.” That law fully supports a finding that scholarship football players …. are employees under the NLRA.
Not unlike the student-athlete, the student-fan is very much an “employee,” one who: a) performs services for another, and b) is subject to the other’s control or right of control. “Consideration,” in the form of a scholarship, is available for some, which is not unlike college athletics, where some athletes are paid (full/partial scholarships) and others aren’t (walk-ons).
Proof that student-fans deserve employee status is made clear in the NLRB memo. Abruzzo, in making her case, echoes the same key evidence offered in most pay-for-play arguments: that college athletes make big money for colleges/universities and thus deserve a slice of the pie. As Abruzzo puts it:
the athletes play football (perform a service) for the university and the NCAA, thereby generating tens of millions of dollars in profit and providing an immeasurable positive impact on the university’s reputation, which in turn boosts student applications and alumni financial donations;
There are, however, holes in Abruzzo’s definitive, that college athletes “generate tens of millions of dollars in profit” and provide “an immeasurable positive impact on the university’s reputation”:
● First, it’s not just the athletes generating revenue … it’s the full game-day experience, including the student-band, the student-cheerleaders, and the student-fans (who are all excluded from Abruzzo’s observation).
● Also, “tens of millions” is a myth for many universities: e.g., 2021’s UConn vs. Middle Tennessee football game, which had an attendance of 10,698, leaving nearly 30K seats empty.
● And “positive impact on … reputation” takes a big hit when you consider many college football teams are mocked for poor performance. For years, media-giant ESPN has mocked college teams and athletes with its weekly (and cruel) “Bottom 10” standings.
But for the sake of argument, let’s take Abruzzo’s “evidence” as absolute and deconstruct it from the perspective of the student-fan. Specifically, within the competitive arena, how much do student-fans contribute to a college’s profit and reputation? The answer: they contribute a lot, and because of this, student-fans — like student-athletes on the field — should be compensated for their hard work and/or treated as employees.
College Students & TV Revenue
In the 60s, Roone Arledge — the creator of Monday Night Football — had this to say about selling TV viewers on college football:
[The viewer] must know that he is in Columbus, Ohio, where the town is football mad; or that he is part of a small but wildly enthusiastic crowd in Corvallis, Oregon. He must know what the surrounding country and campus look like, how many other people are watching this game with him, how the people dress at football games in this part of the country, and what the game means to the two schools involved. [emphasis added]
Arledge’s strategy gave birth to the demand for televised football and with this demand came an explosion in broadcast revenue. Abruzzo’s revenue argument (i.e., “tens of millions in profit”) can be attributed in large part to ESPN and broadcast rights. For example, in the SEC:
ESPN will be the exclusive home of SEC football and men’s basketball starting in 2024. The 10-year contract reportedly will be worth more than $300 million annually for the league. In the 2018–19 fiscal year, each SEC school received about $44 million total from the SEC’s entire revenue distribution system. — Here’s a look at all the current conference TV deals. (2021, August 2). On3
As Arledge predicted, the value of a televised game is enhanced by a “wildly enthusiastic crowd,” and viewers want to know “what the game means to the two schools involved.” Without the crowd — including the “wildly enthusiastic” student-fans — a televised game has less significance (and thus less value) as a broadcast.
The College GameDay Effect
The broadcast value of a student fanbase can be seen in ESPN’s “College GameDay.” While not a revenue-generating “game,” GameDay is hugely valuable to universities and to ESPN’s football viewership. As noted in Forbes (with a focus on the University of Central Florida (UCF)):
[W]hen you consider that “College GameDay” has been taking place every Saturday morning since 1987, and when you consider that the show had been to 71 different schools and 83 different cities over the years…but never Orlando or UCF until this past Saturday, and when you consider the cultural phenomenon the show and its hosts have become, you realize that the media value associated with a 3-hour nationally televised and popular show can be quite palpable. [emphasis added]
And what’s driving this ”media value”? In large part, it’s the student-fans who show up early to participate, who spend hours making signs, who serve as the rowdy backdrop for GameDay personalities. The importance of this backdrop (i.e., the “wildly enthusiastic crowd”) from a publicity standpoint can be seen in this Gameday incentive from UCLA:
Gates to the viewing area will open at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, and the live [GameDay] broadcast will run from 6 to 9 a.m. … All UCLA students and faculty who attend the event in the morning will earn themselves free tickets to the game against Oregon that afternoon if they don’t have tickets purchased already. [emphasis added]
College Fans Are Not Cardboard Fans
Arledge’s observation (i.e., the value of fans to television) was also illustrated during the pandemic, when absent fanbases were replaced with cardboard cutouts. During the 2020–2021 college football season — an era of empty stadiums and “fake” fans — television viewership suffered. As reported by the sports/law website Conduct Detrimental:
This lack of normalcy clearly impacted last year’s ratings. The 2020 regular season, for example, had only 10 games that topped at least five million viewers, with the first 5-million-plus viewer game of the season happening in Week 6. Meanwhile, five games in Week 1 of the 2021 season easily reached that number (with more than 8 million viewers watching Florida State-Notre Dame and nearly 9 million viewers tuning in to see then #3 Clemson face off against then #5 Georgia in Charlotte).
Can this drop in ratings (and thus a drop in value) be attributed to absent student-fans? Maybe not directly, but with TV ratings dropping across most sports during the pandemic, USA Today underscored the impact empty stadiums can have on TV viewership:
Lack of fans in the stands is a psychological cue that these games don’t mean as much. “The crowd going crazy is part of the allure of watching sports on TV,” [Austin] Karp said. “Crowd goes wild is an expression for a reason.”
“For The Win” … More Than Just College Athletes
According to Abruzzo, college athletes provide “an immeasurable positive impact on the university’s reputation.” However, this “positive impact” depends (to a large degree) on “positive output” … wins over losses. Winning is why Alabama football provides “an immeasurable positive impact on the university’s reputation.” However, on the other end of the spectrum … e.g., the University of Kansas … football impacts reputation in the negative.
Winning Colleges Need Winning Fans
So if college sports have a positive impact on reputation but this impact depends (for the most part (see below)) on winning, who actually contributes to a “win”? Is it the student-athletes alone? Or is winning a group effort?
One might argue that Texas A&M football “wins” solely because of its athletes. However, A&M has literally branded (and trademarked) its student section as the “12th Man” … i.e., the 12th man on the field:
The 12th Man is world-renowned for its passion and support of Texas A&M. Aggie students make Texas A&M unique and help create the best, most-intimidating atmosphere at all our athletics venues. [emphasis added]
Creating an “intimidating atmosphere” is critical to home field advantage, and home field advantage is important to winning. Thus, student sections (and the intimidation they create) help college teams win, contributing to the “immeasurable positive impact on the university’s reputation.” Consequently, winning games is often a “team” effort … the team composed of both athletic “employees” and fan “employees.”
Game Day Atmosphere: It’s A Student Thing
Wins, as mentioned above, are the result of two contributors … student-athletes and student-fans … but reputational impact doesn’t hinge entirely on wins. In-game atmosphere, and the quality thereof, also plays a part in the “immeasurable positive impact on the university’s reputation.” And while wins are produced by both athletes and fans, in-game atmosphere is mostly student driven.
In college sports, a ticket isn’t just the price of entry into a competition; it’s also the price of entry into a comprehensive experience, one enhanced by songs, chants, traditions, signs, and costumed fans. Often, these enhancements are produced by student fans. When purchasing a ticket to Baylor football, the ticket holder is buying (and expecting) more than a game; they’re also paying to see the “Baylor Line”:
The Baylor Line is the core of Baylor Spirit and Traditions as an organization composed entirely of new incoming students. … Prior to each home football game, the Line gathers at the south end of McLane Stadium and, led by the cheers of alumni and fans, runs onto the field and created an enormous human tunnel to welcome the football team to McLane Stadium.
Likewise, if you buy a ticket to Baylor basketball, the price of admission includes the energy and entertainment of the “Bear Pit”:
All students who cheer on the Baylor Bears and Lady Bears basketball teams are considered members of the Bear Pit, the official student section for basketball! Working in unison with the Spirit Squads and Pep Band, the Bear Pit creates a decisive home-court advantage for both teams while offering an atmosphere of excitement for players and fans to enjoy. [emphasis added]
And it’s not just Baylor … there are many “official” student sections, like Stanford’s “The Red Zone” and Michigan State’s “The Izzone.” These sections and countless others contribute to a university’s “atmosphere of excitement for players and fans to enjoy.” And who specifically creates this atmosphere and its positive impact? Student-fans … not student-athletes.
Merchandising & Brands: The Impact Of Student-Fans
As illustrated above, student-fans — “working” within a stadium or arena — enhance a university’s revenue and reputation. But for many colleges, this enhancement spills off the field and into branding/merchandising. Student-fans are the actors in a marketable entity, and because of their hard work, many colleges are earning a hefty profit.
Breathing Life Into College Trademarks
Consider Duke, home to the famous Cameron Crazies, which is “staffed” by student-fans. This student section has value, and Duke capitalizes on this value (and on its students) by registering and merchandising the “Cameron Crazies” trademark.. The trademark’s importance to Duke (which implies the importance of its student-fans) was spelled out in this 2016 filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office:
Duke is the owner of the marks CAMERON CRAZIE and CAMERON CRAZIES … and has used those marks for decades to refer to the unincorporated association of lively and creative students and other fans …. Duke’s CAMERON CRAZIE/S Marks are viewed and heard by literally millions of fans each year during television and radio broadcasts as well as in print media and online. For example, broadcasts to millions of consumers every year feature Duke’s men’s basketball team’s games played in Cameron Indoor Stadium, in which the members of the CAMERON CRAZIES are often shown wearing apparel imprinted with Duke’s CAMERON CRAZIE/S Marks; and similar publicity is transmitted to the national consumer market in discussion of Duke, its games, its fans, and its coach by national television networks, publications, and other sources throughout the years. — CAMERON KRZYZ, Opp’n №91,229,209 (filed July 27, 2016)
Similar to Duke, Texas A&M capitalizes off student-fans by merchandising its valuable 12th Man trademark. This value can be seen in how aggressively the university fights 12th Man infringements:
Texas A&M University is the Home of the 12th Man which has brought our fan base national renown,” said Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young. “We would prefer not to file lawsuits to protect our trademarks. However, when our intellectual property, especially the 12th Man mark which is so important to our students and former students, is used without our permission after repeated attempts to engage on the matter, we are left with no choice.” — Texas A&M Athletics — 12thMan.com. (2015, November 12). Texas A&M University files 12th man trademark suit vs. NFL’s Indianapolis Colts
The Business of College Branding
Of course, not all student sections have marketability … at least not in the merchandising sense. Not all student sections are universally famous and recognizable. But there’s more to “value” than just t-shirts and trademarks.
Student sections also provide value to brand identity … i.e., “the visible elements of a brand … that identify and distinguish the brand in consumers’ minds.” Penn State’s brand isn’t limited to student-athletes … it includes The Legion of Blue. The same for Oregon and Pittsburgh; their brands have a stronger identity because of The Pit Crew and The Oakland Zoo.
Student sections across the country enhance the fan experience, adding brand value by bettering the game. Hypothetically, if a ticket holder arrived and the student section was empty, this would devalue a university’s brand, the expectation being that the game (as advertised) is “more than” the game. And this “more than” … this enhancement of the brand … depends on student-fans, their creativity, and their sacrifices.
No “Fairness” If Student-Fans Aren’t “Getting” Something
Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone gets what they need. — Rick Riordan
There are two important words in Riordan’s definition: “need” and “get.” For student-fans, “need” is irrelevant because we’ve yet to arrive at “get.” Fairness demands that student-fans “get” something for their efforts; their needs (and those needs compared to student-athletes) can be answered later.
The “get,” however, is a foregone conclusion because “getting” is always justified by athletic revenue. The argument goes that if a college athlete contributes to revenue, that athlete should “get” something … in all fairness. It’s the argument echoed in these comments supporting the College Athletes Bill of Rights:
The College Athletes Bill of Rights will set a new baseline standard to expand protections and opportunities for all college athletes by providing fair and equitable compensation. — Senator Cory Booker [emphasis added]
Our goal is to ensure that athletes whose blood, sweat, and tears literally fuel a $14 billion industry receive benefits and protections they’ve been consistently denied. — Senator Richard Blumenthal [emphasis added]
College athletes are invaluable to the student bodies they represent and the local economies of college towns across America, and we must ensure they are compensated and treated fairly. — Senator Kirsten Gillibrand [emphasis added]
This multi-billion dollar industry doesn’t compensate them for their work, protect their health and safety on the field, or support them in the classroom.” — Senator Brian Schatz [emphasis added]
Likewise, revenue, fairness, and compensation underscore Justice Kavanaugh’s observation in NCAA vs. Alston:
The NCAA’s business model of using unpaid student athletes to generate billions of dollars in revenue for the colleges raises serious questions under the antitrust laws. In particular, it is highly questionable whether the NCAA and its member colleges can justify not paying student athletes a fair share of the revenues. [emphasis added]
In two short sentences, Justice Kavanaugh sets out the justification for the “get”: 1) “unpaid” students “generate billions of dollars in revenue” and thus 2) they deserve their “fair share” of the profits. In an equitable world, this “get” is valid for student-fans, their “unpaid” labors, and the “billions of dollars in revenue” they help generate. Thus, they are, like student-athletes, “employees,” a classification that’s demanded if we truly believe in fairness.
 While “employee” status is the primary issue, I’m using “reward” broadly to equate with employability, scholarships, and/or the education-related benefits addressed in NCAA vs. Alston. Granted, Alston involved the NCAA and not an individual college, but Alston’s ripple greatly impacts all colleges and universities:
Changes in collegiate athletics finances resulting from the Alston decision are likely to impact universities and colleges more than NIL does. This is because they impact expenditures that will actually be made through the institution (as opposed to NIL which is directly between the student athlete and outside organizations). — The Alston decision: What does it mean for student-athletes and universities? James Moore. (2021, December 7)
 Though some find it an unfavorable descriptor, I’m using the term “student-athlete” to help distinguish it from the “student-fan.” In the same sense that “student-athlete” is a poor descriptor so is the term “student section,” the implication being that the student section is simply a stadium section, no different than Sections 109, 110, and 111 except it’s reserved for students. In reality, a student section is a planned, organized, branded, and controlled location that serves as a university’s centerpiece for televised crowd shots and in-game entertainment.
 Do I believe — in a practical sense — that student-fans are “employees”? Initially no, but as the term expands, so must our thinking. In terms of fairness — the same fairness that underscores employable student-athletes — I believe “employee” status must now be extended to include all revenue contributors … student-fans, mascots, cheerleaders, band members, bonfire builders, etc.
 If not an employee, then an independent contractor. According to the IRS, “the general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.”
 This is where a student-fan is different from a non-student fan, being subject to greater control and broader discipline from a college or university. For example, students often have a designated “section,” and this “special section” is subject to university (or conference) control, including location AND activity.
 A fan’s “student” identity and their presence on campus/in the stadium is often induced by a scholarship, not unlike an athletic scholarship which induces athletes to play on game day. However, these scholarships are unrelated to the work of being a superfan. In the interest of fairness, student-fans deserve scholarships (or some other benefit/reward) related to their game day work, separate from any merit or other scholarships.
 Not unlike the football starter vs. the football walk-on, some student-fans contribute to a larger degree (e.g., signs, chants, costumes, noise), while others contribute to a lesser degree.
 The revenue justification creates a slippery slope because a college game is much more than the game itself … e.g., the cheers, chants, traditions, giveaways, etc. To illustrate this slippery slope, let’s say I argue that student-fans also play a part in generating “tens of millions of dollars” for a university; you rebut with “No, athletes generate the money because they’re on the field … they play the game,” to which I reply “It’s only the athletes playing — not the 3rd/4th stringers and/or walk-ons — who sell tickets, pack a stadium, and generate revenue.” Of course, this elicits the rebuttal that 3rd/4th stringers and walk-ons all contribute to the betterment of the game-day product, even if that only happens on the practice field. And this brings us full circle to “student-fans also contribute to the betterment of the game-day product, even if that only happens off the playing field” (also, linking every student-athlete to “tens of millions of dollars” suffers when you consider that fans don’t pay to watch backups (which is why the crowd collectively groans when the backup quarterback replaces an injured star)).
 “Fully compensated” (e.g., offering a benefit/scholarship that specifically recognizes the talent/work of a superfan, separate from any merit or other scholarships) might look something like this (as described in Abruzzo’s NLRB memo):
the football players received significant compensation, including up to $76,000 per year, covering their tuition, fees, room, board, and books, and a stipend covering additional expenses such as travel and childcare.
 A football ticket generates university revenue through the purchase of a game-day experience. This directly includes not only the athletes but the mascot (employee), the cheerleaders (employees), and the band (employees). One might argue that football players are the primary revenue generators — and this would be true — but then you get onto the slippery slope of starters (i.e., the athletes whom ticket holders pay to see) vs. walk-ons (i.e, the athletes with no direct impact on ticket sales). Likewise, with ticket sales being an unspoken component of Abruzzo’s “profit” observation, any ticketed event on a college campus — for example, a theatrical production — trends toward an “employee” relationship. Lastly, it can be easily argued that the ticketed experience includes specialized entertainment (i.e., university-sanctioned “teams”) created by student-fans, from Duke’s Cameron Crazies to the University of Arizona’s ZonaZoo.
 The argument will be made that student-fans — as “customers” — can’t be employees because they voluntarily buy a ticket to enter a game. My response … they’re more unpaid labor than customers. Being superfans, colleges/universities demand more from them than the casual ticket holder. In fact, many of these so-called customers are “coaxed” (some might say “paid’) into participating with t-shirt giveaways, theme nights, and “special” student seating. Customers or not, universities are double-dipping off student-fans, having them pay for admission and then having them “work” as primetime cheerleaders. And further degrading the “customer” argument, there’s nothing voluntary about a forced fee — built into a student’s tuition — that helps underwrite the costs of an athletic team.
 The October 19th, 2021 headline from cbssports.com: “College football rankings: Kansas reclaims The Bottom 25 throne as Jayhawks return to familiar position.”
 Applied broadly, the 12th Man might mean “any” Texas A&M fan. But A&M applies it specifically to college football’s “largest and most historic” student-fans:
Texas A&M students have once again sold out the largest and most historic student section in all of college football. … Kyle Field’s student section will number nearly 36,000 strong for the 2021 season …. It only seems fitting that the 12th Man would be out in record numbers for the 2021 Texas A&M Football season.
 According to the sports gambling site PlayNY:
If there is one sport that can have an absolutely crushing home field advantage, it is college football. The stands packed to the brim with screaming students and alumni, all of whom bleed their school colors and wouldn’t miss a game if they could avoid it. As expected, when we took a look at the 2019 season for Division I programs across the country, we discovered that playing at home definitely does have its perks. There were 828 games during the season, and home teams claimed 541 wins against just 287 losses. That works out to a 65.34% win rate, significantly higher than the professional sports we’ve covered. [emphasis added]
 Who is the more important “employee”? The student-athlete of course, and this importance is reflected in time committed to practice, training, travel, pre-game, etc. Some will argue that time is the commodity to be rewarded, that student-athletes are deserving (and student-fans are not) because athletes log extended hours and days (vs. just a few hours per week for the student-fan). However, Abruzzo makes no indication that time is a factor in determining “employee” status. But in a more practical sense, time is a determinant of salary, not employability. Do student-fans engage in employable work? Yes. Should consideration — based on time/commitment — be equal to that of the student-athlete? No.
 Admittedly, not all universities have a student-led tradition. Many in-game traditions are shared across the entire fanbase; however, students are often the catalyst of these traditions. For example, there is no “5th Quarter” without Wisconsin’s student band and student-fans, no cowbells without the Mississippi State students who swing them.
 It could be argued that student sections, like student-athletes, are entitled to NIL rights because student sections create a valuable (i.e., marketable for colleges and television) “group” image. In fact, “group” NIL was specifically mentioned in the proposed College Athletes Bill of Rights:
The College Athletes’ Bill of Rights will allow college athletes to market their name, image, and likeness (NIL), either individually or as a group, with minimal restrictions.
 In giving life to the 12th Man, student-fans are the primary actors. Thus, marketability hinges on student participation. To illustrate this primacy, consider this description from A&M’s Student Sports Pass:
The 12th Man is world-renowned for its passion and support of Texas A&M. Aggie students make Texas A&M unique and help create the best, most-intimidating atmosphere at all our athletics venues.
And then consider this September 2021 article from 12thman.com, A&M’s official athletics website:
Today, the 12th Man refers to the student body at Texas A&M, as well as all supporters of Texas A&M athletics teams. … Unlike most college football stadiums, the majority of Texas A&M’s student section stands behind the opponent’s bench area with A&M students stretching from endzone to endzone. With the loyal support of the 12th Man, Kyle Field is known as one of college football’s most intimidating road venues. — Texas A&M Athletics — 12thMan.com. (2021, September 3). Texas A&M’s 12th Man Sells Out Student Section again [emphasis added]
 Texas A&M has gone so far as to brand their foundation (formerly The Aggie Club) and AggieAthletics.com as “The 12th Man.”
 President Michael K. Young retired from A&M in 2020.
 “The [Seattle] Seahawks … agreed to pay $140,000 to Texas A&M upfront, plus $18,000 per year as a royalty fee for using the [12th Man] mark in the Pacific Northwest, an additional $10,000 per year to assist Texas A&M with its efforts to protect its trademark.” — Escovedo, J. H. (2016, August 18). The Seattle Seahawks’ 12th Man Flies Again. The IP Law Blog
 Time is the greatest sacrifice but so is ticket price, a burden not faced by student-athletes. As participants, student-athletes enter for free. While not to the same extent, student-fans and student sections are participants too, but they are typically paying to participate. Also, there’s a barrier to entry for many student-fans, one that ups the time, sacrifice, and commitment. A good example is Duke’s “Krzyzewskiville,” as described in this recent article from the Winston-Salem Journal:
Students scurried to an open area so their respective tents, the ones that hold their place in lines for basketball games, were counted. You have to be counted every time there’s a line check.
“If you miss a line check, you go to the back,” said junior Dominic Jeong, who was studying when the bullhorn sounded. “We can’t afford to go to the back because then we won’t get into the UNC game.” [emphasis added]
The argument will be made that these sacrifices are voluntary. But that’s irrelevant if a university is capitalizing on (and expecting) these sacrifices through unpaid labor. Also, this argument, to some degree, is the “for the love of the game” argument, that labor enjoyed is unworthy of payment returned. It’s similar to the insult aimed at teachers who demand a fair wage, that they don’t teach for the money but simply for the love of the children.
 The College Athletes Bill of Rights also has a revenue-sharing component:
[The College Athletes’ Bill of Rights] will also require revenue-generating sports to share 50 percent of their profit with the athletes from that sport after accounting for the cost of scholarships.
Two interesting points: First, under the applicable section, revenue-sharing does not appear to be restricted to game-day (i.e., revenue-generating) participants. Thus, it extends to non-competing participants (e.g., backups, redshirts, and injured players). Second, the Bill of Rights calls for the distribution of “commercial sports revenue royalties,” a deep, fiscal pool that can be linked (directly or indirectly) to both athletes and non-athletes (e.g., student-fans, band members, cheerleaders, and mascots).
 While Abruzzo’s memo directly addressed student-athletes, it also entertained the possibility of greater inclusion. In footnote 13, Abruzzo said:
Cases involving the misclassification of student assistants, medical interns, and non-academic student employees, who are led to believe that they are not entitled to the Act’s protection, similarly should be submitted to Advice. [emphasis added]