This week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio introduced the “Fairness in College Athletics Act,” beginning to fulfill the Power 5 commissioners’ request that Congress enact national, federal legislation regarding collegiate student-athletes’ ability to profit off their own names, images and likenesses.
The bill aims to “create a national standard for college athletes to legally get paid for activities like promotional appearances, signing autographs or having their image used in advertising campaigns for televised sports,” according to the Miami Herald. Rubio introduces the bill a week after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law allowing NCAA student-athletes to profit from their name-image-likeness – making his state the third to do so.
Rubio’s bill, should it pass, would require the NCAA (and other intercollegiate athletic associations) to establish rules for their student-athletes by June 30, 2021, a day prior to when Florida’s state law is scheduled to take effect. Student-athletes receiving NIL payments would be required to disclose themto the NCAA and their respective college.
The bill also includes provisions to ensure that boosters can’t influence the recruiting process with financial promises.
In response to the bill’s introduction, the Pac-12 Conference released a statement of support.
“We appreciate that thoughtful member of Congress such as Senator Rubio are seeking a uniform, national solution to empower student-athletes to benefit from their Name, Image and Likeness. To prevent an uneven system of state laws, a national system is necessary along with protection to implement and enforce NIL rules,” the conference said.
The Pac-12 issued the following statement today on the Fairness in Collegiate Athletics Act: pic.twitter.com/BhvmtfTlZl
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) June 18, 2020
In October 2019, Calfornia – home to four Pac-12 schools – passed a law set to take effect in 2023 that allows student-athletes to profit off their names, images and likenesses. The conference publicly opposed the bill, saying it would work with the NCAA to find a solution.