NCAA President and Others Testify Before Senate on NIL Rights for Athletes

By Adam Roberts – 6/9/2021

On his way out the door, soon-to-be-retired Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez has noted the college athletics landscape is on pace to look noticeably different over the next few years. The biggest reason may be the push for NIL, or name, image, and likeness rights for the modern student athlete. Today, the United States 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. A long-time proponent of student athletes remaining uncompensated, NCAA President Mark Emmert added that a federal solution needs to ensure that NIL payments are not a pay-for-play scenario. Gonzaga Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mark Few also 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 industry is made off the backs of 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.

The NIL legislation bill was introduced last February by Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, with it expected to be in place by August 1st with or without assistance from Washington.