The bill is aimed at addressing many of the key concerns regarding name, image and likeness.
Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing name, image and likeness [NIL] issues in college sports on Tuesday. The bill, titled the “Protecting Athletes, Schools, and Sports (PASS) Act of 2023,” was characterized in a press release as the “culmination of a year-long initiative” in which Tuberville and Manchin collaborated with various parties to draft guidelines surrounding NIL compensation for NCAA athletes.
“Student athletes should be able to take advantage of NIL promotional activities without impacting their ability to play collegiate sports,” Tuberville, a longtime former college football coach, said in a statement. “But we need to ensure the integrity of our higher education system, remain focused on education and keep the playing field level. Our legislation with Senator Manchin will set basic rules nationwide, protect our student-athletes, and keep NIL activities from ending college sports as we know it.”
Provisions outlined in the bill include the following:
- Requiring agents and collectives to register with a regulating body.
- Establishing a public-facing website to publish anonymized NIL data.
- Requiring all NIL contracts to be disclosed within 30 days.
Another notable provision in the bill would require athletes to complete three years of residency at a given institution before being eligible to transfer without penalty. Currently NCAA rules allow undergraduate athletes to transfer one time at any point of their college career with immediate eligibility.
“As a former college athlete, I know how important sports are to gaining valuable life skills and opening doors of opportunity,” Manchin said in a statement. “However, in recent years, we have faced a rapidly evolving NIL landscape without guidelines to navigate it, which jeopardizes the health of the players and the educational mission of colleges and universities. Our bipartisan legislation strikes a balance between protecting the rights of student-athletes and maintaining the integrity of college sports. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to consider this commonsense legislation as a way to level the playing field in college athletics.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey are among the various athletic directors, conference officials and coaches that have been calling for federal oversight since the NCAA lifted its ban on NIL compensation for student athletes in Summer 2021. Tuberville in June, described the existing patchwork of state laws on NIL governance a “disaster.”