More than 20 of the nation's largest collegiate athletic conferences have launched a new coalition to press Congress to enact legislation establishing a federal standard for name, image, and likeness deals for college athletes .
The Coalition for the Future of College Athletics, which launched on Wednesday, counts the largest athletic conferences among its members, including the Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten Conference, and the Pac-12 Conference. The goal of the group is to influence the drafting and ultimately the passage of legislation that establishes a federal standard on NIL deals, which are currently governed by conflicting state laws.
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"In many ways, NIL has been a net positive for college athletes, but it has also created a series of existential threats that put the long-term viability of intercollegiate athletics at risk," the group said in a statement. "In the midst of this transformative time in college sports, stability is needed more than ever — and that’s why C4FCA was created. With momentum building in Congress toward finding a solution to the unintended consequences of NIL, the time is now to finally address many of the pressing issues facing college athletics."
The group says it wants Congress to pass legislation that would "eliminate the patchwork of state laws" that the organization says are designed to help the colleges in a given state gain an upper hand in recruitment. The group also said it wants a uniform set of standards with enforcement mechanisms that "ensure[s] that bad actors cannot take advantage of college athletes and their families."
"In the ever-shifting landscape of college athletics, many of those opportunities could be threatened for the next generation of student-athletes if the challenges of today are not met with solutions," the group said.
Both chambers of Congress have taken an interest in the NIL issue, with the House Small Business Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee both holding hearings on it recently.