A House subcommittee hearing on Thursday delved into how to approach the growing issue surrounding name, image, and likeness (NIL) contracts for college athletes as their future remains uncertain.
“I wanted to be clear today: NIL has been great for players, and the changes were long overdue. At the same time, the abrupt transition to NIL has led to rampant pay-for-play. “The Wild West is now possible,” said House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Innovation, Data, and Commerce Chairman Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.).
“We must promote safe guardrails and a level playing field,” Bilirakis added.
NCAA President Charlie Baker, a witness at the hearing, said he wanted to ensure college students avoid being labeled as employees (which is currently the subject of multiple lawsuits) and provide his organization with antitrust protections. We are insisting that Congress give it to us.
Lawmakers on Thursday questioned how NIL contracts are made, saying some student-athletes have declined scholarships and tried to transfer schools because of the possibility of NIL, but were left without a contract. expressed concern about Taka.
“Through this conversation, I believe that student-athlete rights and privileges and protections need to be number one. And today, at this time, the only way college athletes get resources based on their name, image, and likeness is… The way is through third-party players,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).
And not all members of Congress are in favor of the legislation currently under consideration on the issue.
“The Fair College Sports Act would create a new governing body that would be controlled entirely by political appointees, none of whom would be required to be active athletes,” said Lori Trahan, a Democrat. , Massachusetts) said.
“I am also concerned about the provisions in the bill that would allow schools to regulate and prohibit athletes from operating on campus,” she added.
The committee had three students testify about the current state of college sports and the agreement with the NIL, and the three students had mixed opinions on the bill.
“The Fair College Sports Act creates regulatory hurdles for college athletics. The bill contains more than 200 negative references to NIL with words such as regulate, prohibit, sanction, restrict, induce, etc. “But freedom, growth, and innovation are never mentioned,” said Chase Griffin. UCLA football player.
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