This one is bi-partisan and tries to split the baby down the middle, which likely means it’ll be attacked on both sides. Summarized as follows:
The bill, obtained by Sports Illustrated, is more player-friendly than the legislation introduced earlier this summer by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). However, the Gonzalez legislation satisfies several NCAA requests, the most noteworthy of which are preemption and restriction. The bill preempts all state NIL laws and restricts athletes from entering endorsement deals with several companies, including those associated with alcohol, tobacco or vaping, marijuana or drug dispensaries and sellers, and casinos/gambling facilities.
It does not, however, prevent an athlete from endorsing a product that might conflict with a school’s own endorsement deals—something the NCAA includes in its own drafted legislation. It also does not grant the NCAA antitrust protections from lawsuits arising over NIL—another NCAA request.
While the bill doesn’t restrict player endorsements, it does it allow schools to prohibit athletes from wearing marks of companies during athletic activity and at any other university event.
The part I really don’t like relates to enforcement.
The bill also amends the Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act to include a definition of “boosters,” and details actions taken by boosters in the recruiting process that would be penalized through Federal Trade enforcement. “It is unlawful for a booster to directly or indirectly provide or offer to provide any funds or thing of value as an inducement for a student athlete to enroll or remain at a specific institution or group of institutions,” the bill reads.
I’ve got no issue with hammering boosters for abusing players’ NIL rights, but using government power to enforce NCAA rules shouldn’t be the way to go about doing so.
In any event, the most important takeaway is that the clock continues to run on the Florida law taking effect.
Many believe that a federal NIL bill won’t move through Capitol Hill until next year, when a new Congress takes control, one that could look different after the November elections.
“It most likely bleeds into next year,” Gonzalez says. “Right now, Congress is still just learning about this issue. We have a pandemic we’re working through.”
Gonzalez’s bill is only one of what could be a half-dozen versions of federal NIL legislation. Several lawmakers are in various stages of drafting their own law, which is expected to begin the legislative process in the Senate Commerce Committee.
I doubt that meets with the NCAA’s timetable. That’s a shame.
5 responses to “Another day, another Congressional NIL bill”
As this goes on, I’m enjoying watching the NCAA destroy itself. Good grief … this was so easy for the NCAA and its members to fix, but they just can’t get beyond the short-sighted view of their cartel.
On the apparel thing, I think the legislation gets it right. The players should wear the standard as issued by the university and its equipment provider for official functions.
If it pisses off both sides equally, doesn’t that mean it’s a good compromise?
Once again the sausage factory grids slowly (Congress). If I was a State legislature in the SEC I would have a bill ready for next season, otherwise FU, FSU and Miami will have either a decided advantage or be kicked out of the NCAA. It’s going to happen so it’s time the NCAA just bent over and enjoyed it.
I have no issue with Athletes getting paid. I just don’t think the schools should be the ones footing the bill.
Tiger made a few million winning in golf tournaments. He made a shitload from Nike.
The federal government should never do anything on this in any direction. State governments should never do anything that applies to private universities. They can absolutely have at it when it comes to their own public universities though.