Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) and Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) wrote to a group of 15 stakeholders today requesting their input regarding whether and how collegiate athletes should be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL), and other related matters. Legislation empowering collegiate athletes to receive payment for their NIL has been introduced in over 30 states and enacted in three, though no federal nationwide policy yet exists.
“Universities rely on their athletic programs to attract students, cultivate alumni, and in some cases generate tens of millions of dollars of revenue. Students play for the love of the game, but also to further their educational, and in some cases, professional sporting opportunities,” wrote Walden and Pallone. “In recent months, there has been a renewed focus on granting collegiate athletes the right to earn compensation for the use of their NIL.”
The bipartisan Committee leaders note that in response to state activity, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) — the largest collegiate athletics organization in the country — formed a Federal and State Legislation Working Group. The Working Group has recommended several actions, including that the NCAA Board of Governors ‘authorize changes to NCAA policy and bylaws to permit student-athletes to receive compensation related to their NIL,’ and that the matter be taken up at the federal level to ensure consistency and uniformity across all colleges and universities.
The bipartisan letter was sent to President Mark Emmert, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Board of Governors; President & CEO Jim Carr, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); Executive Director Matthew Simms, United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA); Executive Director Dan Wood, National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA); President and CEO Christopher Parker, National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA); Executive Director Ramogi Huma, National College Players Association (NCPA); Commissioner John Swofford, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC); Commissioner Kevin Warren, Big Ten Conference; Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Conference; Commissioner Larry Scott, Pac-12 Conference; Commissioner Greg Sankey, Southeastern Conferences (SEC); President and Executive Director Edd J. Hayes, Black College Sports & Education Foundation; Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; and the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The full letter is available HERE.