Saturday, November 9, 2013

Rensing v. Indiana State University case brief

Rensing v. Indiana State University case brief summary
444 N.E.2d 1170 (1983)

Plaintiff football player filed a claim for workmen's compensation benefits after he was injured at football practice. The Court of Appeals, Fourth District (Indiana), found that the football player was an employee of defendant university board of trustees (board) and was entitled to workmen's compensation benefits. The board appealed.

The football player was injured at practice. The football player filed a claim for permanent total disability as well as medical and hospital expenses. The Industrial Board of Indiana found that there was not an employer-employee relationship; however, the lower court reversed that finding. The football player received a scholarship from the board for the academic year in question covering all expenses. The board argued that there was no contract to hire involved in the case and that a student that accepted an athletic grant-in-aid did not become an employee of the university.

  • The court examined Ind. Code § 22-3-6-1, which defined the terms employer and employee. 
  • The court reasoned that the primary consideration was whether there was an intent that a contract of employment existed. 
  • The court held that based on the documents which formed the agreement in the case, there was no intent to enter into an employer-employee relationship. 
  • The court noted that student athletes were first and foremost students and were prohibited from accepting pay for sports. 
  • The financial aid was not pay or income; therefore, the football player was not entitled to workmen's compensation.

The court reversed the lower court's determination that the football player was entitled to workmen's compensation.

Suggested Study Aid For Sports Law

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