(Washington, DC) — The Senate heard from the NCAA President and the nation’s top athletic leaders on compensation for student athletes. Legislation has been proposed to allow athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness, or “NIL” rights. NCAA President Mark Emmert called this a “historic opportunity” to change the national landscape of college athletics. He noted that a federal solution needs to ensure that NIL payments are not pay-for-play scenario.
Gonzaga Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mark Few said the future of college sports is in jeopardy because each state has different rules on NIL rights. ESPN Analyst Rod Gilmore called this is a civil rights issue, adding that it’s disturbing that the 14-billion-dollar college sports industry is made off the backs of mostly Black players. Senator Cory Booker, a former Stanford Football player, called college athletics a for-profit industry that takes advantage of athletes by robbing them of earnings in their peak years.