Forget it, Mark. It’s Washington.

Let’s see… the NCAA’s got two weeks to get Congress to pass a bill for the POTUS to sign into law overriding the states’ intrusion into college athletes’ NIL compensation.  How’s that going, anyway?


The faint hope that Congress would pass a bill by July 1 to govern athlete compensation died long ago. Now, the hope that such legislation will get passed by the end of the calendar year is dwindling, too.

Notable Republican senators are not expected to participate in the latest Senate hearing Thursday over athlete compensation, a strong signal of the growing divide between the two sides over an issue that has sparked a sweeping, nationwide movement of state laws threatening the equitability of NCAA sports.

The Senate Commerce Committee, the group with jurisdiction over the topic, is scheduled to hold a hearing on athletes’ rights eight days after the last hearing ended without marked progress toward federal legislation. Thursday’s hearing is different, for two reasons, from the other six held on Capitol Hill over the last 16 months: College athletes will serve as witnesses and the top Republicans will not be in attendance.

The hearing, led by the Senate’s majority party, the Democrats, is expected to be absent of many of the Commerce Committee’s minority members, legislative aides tell Sports Illustrated. Those include, most notably, senators Roger Wicker (R., Miss.) and Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.), the two Conservative members of a five-person, bipartisan working group exploring a compromise on a federal bill to govern how college athletes earn money from their name, image and likeness (NIL).

Wicker wants to conduct a survey of athletes, which is nice, but hardly a path to getting action before month’s end.  And then there’s this bigger holdup:

At the center of the delay, sources say, is a request from Republicans to grant the NCAA antitrust protection from retroactive and future lawsuits over NIL—something deeply opposed by Booker and Blumenthal.

Yeah, that’s gonna happen quickly.  Good job on the lobbying, Mr. Emmert.

All that’s left between now and July 1 are two things:  (1) the Supreme Court’s ruling in Alston, which could happen any day now and is likely the only realistic last gasp possibility for an antitrust exemption and (2) the NCAA’s passage of its own “amateurism is what we say it is at any given moment” change to NIL compensation eligibility rules.  The latter is likely to be more restrictive than what the states have passed (although remember that it would have the effect of voiding Georgia’s law), but at least it will provide a level national floor, for what that’s worth.


UPDATE:  In case you had any doubt…

The suspense was killing me.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

8 responses to “Forget it, Mark. It’s Washington.

  1. akascuba

    Lack of clarity as maddeningly frustrating as it must be for everyone working for an athletic department and every student athlete. It actually helps some programs. With our former AD pre-Kirby we would have been screwed.

    Not a chance Kirby like his mentor Saban don’t have a plan to benefit themselves. Until this is ironed out and there is a formal set of the same rules for all the top recruiting schools will not change. It’s the Wild West rules for CFB. I trust Kirby is not going to fall behind in bringing elite talent to his school.

    One school to watch out for in recruiting is Texas A&M. Their AD sees the opportunity at hand right now. Their boosters are very hungry and not short of ready cash. The new 12 team CFP will be a lifeline for them in until Saban’s retirement.


  2. The NCAA is so stupid. I said 2+ years ago when this thing started with the California and Florida laws that the NCAA wasn’t going to get an antitrust exemption in this political atmosphere. I don’t see the SCOTUS bailing them out either. It’s time for the NCAA to relent on NIL, admit defeat, and implement an Olympic model solution.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. spur21

    Emmert started by digging a small hole then proceeded to dig deeper until he realized he was stuck in a very deep hole – now the asshat wants someone to toss him a rope. The epitome of arrogance.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. classiccitycanine

    I thought it was just a Federal law that would void Georgia’s. You telling me that anything that comes out of the NCAA could void our law? Kirby must not have as much influence on the politicians as I thought.


  5. Russ

    I’m glad that Congress finally found something about this they could disagree on. I was starting to wonder.


  6. beatarmy92

    Well I guess the Trial Lawyers union is still a big donor to the Democrats. But why the Pubs want to protect the NCAA is beyond me.