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NCAA and Big Ten Leaders Testify Before Senate on Athlete Compensation

 |  October 10, 2023

NCAA President Charlie Baker and Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti are scheduled to appear before the Senate next week to discuss the future of college sports compensation for student-athletes, according to ESPN.

They will provide testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, following requests from Baker and others for Congress to create a federal law granting the NCAA authority to regulate how athletes can profit from the sale of their name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights.

In August, several college athletes expressed their support for such legislation, reported The Hill. While the NCAA’s recent NIL policy update has allowed students to earn income from their athletic abilities, concerns have arisen about the potential for an unregulated system to escalate into a competitive bidding war.

Before any legislation regulating NIL rights can proceed, it must first pass through the Senate Commerce Committee. However, ESPN notes that the Judiciary Committee, responsible for overseeing antitrust laws and intellectual property rights, could exert some influence over the bill’s development.

Read more: NCAA Calls $1.3 Billion Antitrust Lawsuit Speculative

Thus far, no bill has advanced beyond initial discussions, reported the Hill.

In July, Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) introduced a bill that aims to establish a nationwide standard for NIL rights. This legislation comes two years after the Supreme Court ruled that restricting student-athlete compensation violated the Sherman Act, an antitrust law.

The proposed bill would grant the NCAA oversight over NIL, make adjustments to the transfer portal system, and mandate certain schools to provide health insurance to athletes after they graduate.

Additionally, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced draft legislation that envisions the creation of a third-party entity tasked with overseeing the regulations in this area.

Source: The Hill