John Oliver has been making waves on the eve of March Madness with a rant about how the NCAA makes billions of dollars off the annual basketball tournament but still doesn’t pay its athletes on his Last Week Tonight show on HBO.
One of the arguments he makes is that the NCAA frequently hides behind the argument that players aren’t employees, passing off sweatshop labor as though it is a year-round summer camp.
“Oh, they’re not employees! It’s a summer camp where they make the same T-shirt over and over again thousands of times,” Oliver says. “It’s summer fun, year-round.”
Plenty of college students do spend their summers at summer camp, but unlike their athletically gifted classmates they usually get paid.