New Congressional NIL Bill Pushes For Major Changes to Athlete Compensation

by Elizabeth Levy 6

February 10th, 2021 College, National, News

A new Congressional bill is the latest piece of legislation challenging the NCAA’s amateurism model, according to Sports Illustrated.

The bill, known as the College Athlete Economic Freedom Act, is authored by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.). Trahan is a former NCAA DI collegiate athlete, having played volleyball at Georgetown University, while Murphy has been outspoken about athletes’ rights, criticizing the NCAA’s treatment of them.

Upon announcing the bill, Murphy stated the following: “Big-time college athletics look no different than professional leagues, and it’s time for us to stop denying the right of college athletes to make money off their talents. If predominantly white coaches and NCAA executives can have unfettered endorsement deals, why shouldn’t predominantly Black athletes be afforded the same opportunity?”

If passed, this bill would allow college athletes full control of their name, image, and likeness. Additionally, the bill would allow athletes to strike up group licensing agreements, which would allow their names to be used in video games and jersey sales. This news comes just two days after EA Sports announced that its popular NCAA college football video game would make a comeback after it was shut down in 2013 when college football players filed a lawsuit against the company for using their likenesses without compensating them.

The bill also gives recruits access to all NIL rights, allowing them to use agents to strike NIL deals and therefore preventing the NCAA from having complete control over athlete representation and compensation.

Furthermore, if the NCAA or any specific college or conference in the NCAA violates any of these laws, athletes have the right to take legal action against any violating parties.

Upon announcing the bill, Senator Murphy stated the following: “Big-time college athletics look no different than professional leagues, and it’s time for us to stop denying the right of college athletes to make money off their talents. If predominantly white coaches and NCAA executives can have unfettered endorsement deals, why shouldn’t predominantly Black athletes be afforded the same opportunity?”

This bill is the latest piece of proposed legislation looking to end amateurism in NCAA athletics. Last year, a group of senators led by Cory Booker (D-NJ), announced that they would move forward with their proposal of a “College Athletes Bill of Rights” which would grant NCAA athletes certain rights related to monetary compensation, health, and eligibility.

While several states have been able to pass their own NIL legislation, the NCAA itself as a governing body has been slow to create its own legislation. This is in large part due to conflicting views between Democrats and Republicans on how to handle this issue, coupled with the host of challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created for collegiate athletics.

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NC Fan
5 months ago

Sen. Murphy is totally correct for the top 10-20% of Power 5 football and male b-ball players who will clean up with unfettered direct revenue access before and while on campus. And the fact this fixes the stupidity of swimmers not being able to have YouTube channels is a great ancillary benefit the senator probably isn’t focused on. Unfortunately, the unintended consequence will be that the football and b-ball revenue we Olympic sports rely on to fund our programs will go down based on businesses sponsoring athletes and not schools. And while that funding gap ‘should’ come from reductions in top-level coach and administrator salaries, we are naive if we think that is going to happen. So, if they aren’t… Read more »

NC Fan
Reply to  NC Fan
5 months ago

The schools still can’t directly give kids money under any of these plans. And if you think they’ll give up the football players’ relaxation pool and lazy river in order to save swimming, then look no further than Clemson for the rebuttal.

Questionable
5 months ago

What does skin color have anything to do with athlete compensation?

Its always about race and not about position for some reason. No one gives a hoot about the trailer trash white kid, or the successful doctor who is black. Its always the poor black and rich white which shows me they intensively think of black people ass financially lesser. Now that is racist.

Questionable
Reply to  Questionable
5 months ago

Sounds to me like you see the skin color of someone first before you see the person who is standing in front of you.

Try to follow Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s vision and words in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to be a happier person, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Black athletes are disproportionally represented in those two sports. I would hope that many of them seek coaching positions later in their careers to pursue being a head coach. But even then, teams and schools should hire the best for the job, not based on the applicants… Read more »

Mr Piano
Reply to  Questionable
5 months ago

Steve, will you marry me?

samulih
Reply to  Questionable
5 months ago

i do think you parable works here but as white man it is not my place to comment on such issues.