Former college athletes and advocates testified on compensation for college sports players before the Senate Commerce Committee Thursday.
Watch the hearing in the video player above.
A federal law governing how college athletes can earn money off their fame and celebrity seems certain to pass — at some point.
There is no real debate among lawmakers on Capitol Hill about whether athletes should be permitted to monetize their name, image and likeness.
“There is broad consensus that Congress should pass a law that grants athletes NIL rights,” Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said on June 9 during a previous hearing held by the Senate Commerce Committee.
But less than a month before NIL laws go into effect in several states, NCAA President Mark Emmert was back in Washington earlier this month renewing his plea for help from Congress — help that is unlikely to come as soon as the NCAA would like.
For some lawmakers, federal regulation of college sports should not end with NIL and the time is right to tackle other issues — from long-term health care and educational opportunities for athletes to more uniform and enforceable safety standards.
“To race to just an NIL bill and not address these injustices is tragic,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a former Stanford football player, said before Emmert and five other witnesses testified before the committee.
Wicker wants to take a different approach, calling for a “more focused bill on a faster timeline.”
Emmert said the NCAA plans to act on its proposed NIL legislation soon.
“Preferably by the end of the month,” Emmert said.
The Division I Council meets June 22-23 and could take action then, but only a federal law can preempt state laws in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and New Mexico that are set to go into effect July 1.