The latest proposed NIL laws are anything but skinny
The first proposal coming out of the House gives the NCAA everything it asks for, and more:
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Way back in January, new NCAA president Charlie Baker and Baylor University president Dr. Linda Livingstone spelled out exactly what the NCAA wants from the federal government. They want Congress to explicitly state that college athletes are not employees, they want federal preemption of state-level NIL laws, and they want a “safe harbor” from antitrust litigation. Those are not small asks, especially from a divided federal government.
In late March, the Republican-led House held its first NIL-related committee hearing. I watched the entire thing, and joined most commentators in saying the entire exercise was thoroughly unimpressive. The witness list was misaligned with the mission of the subcommittee, and most lawmakers (Republicans and Democrats) did not demonstrate that they actually understood the key issues at hand. There was a lot of yuk-yuking about how much the lawmakers loved good ol’ State U, but not as much in the way of substantive questions.
Still, after the hearing, congressional staffers and lobbyist-type folks assured me that while the entire operation was depressing television, a lot of hearings are like that. I was told that the House was still on track to produce a “skinny” NIL-related bill, one likely to come from Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). Rep. Bilirakis’ press office did not respond to requests for comment from Extra Points.
Well, according to Friend-Of-The-Newsletter Steve Berkowitz of USA TODAY, we have a better idea of what will be in that initial bill. And in my opinion, it’s anything but skinny. It gives the NCAA virtually everything they ask for…and this bill isn’t the only legislative effort out there to do exactly that.
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