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Congress Is Thinking About NIL Reform, But Is There Any Chance Of Success?


When we talked about the NIL bill offered by senators Tuberville and Manchin, we didn’t realize that were were other bills introduced as well. One was introduced by Corey Booker, Richard Blumenthal and Jerry Moran. The other was introduced by Ted Cruz.


His bill is probably closer to what the NCAA would prefer. It would make clear that student-athlete are not to be considered employees: “Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal or State law, a student-athlete shall not be considered an employee of an institution, conference, or interstate intercollegiate athletic association for purposes of (or as a basis for imposing liability on or awarding damages or other monetary relief under) any Federal or State law based on the student-athlete’s participation in, or status as a member of, any varsity sports team.”


That may be tough to get through a Democratic senate.


It would also provide protection from law suits, which the NCAA would obviously prefer and obviously, whatever emerges from Congress, assuming that August body can manage to get a bill to the president and that he signs it, will eliminate state laws dealing with NIL since federal law always trumps state law.


With three different bills, odds are whatever emerges, if anything actually does, will be a compromise.


Whatever might come out better get a move on. Congress was scheduled to adjourn on Friday - we assume that’s still valid - and will be out until September 5th. And with a presidential election looming, it’s going to be tough to get lunch done, much less a bill with so many factions, within Congress and around the country, trying to get what they came for.

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