Tuberville In the News: WBRC 6: Sen. Tommy Tuberville introduces legislation to address NIL in college sports

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Senators Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Protecting Athletes, Schools, and Sports (PASS) Act of 2023 Tuesday to address the changing world of college athletics, specifically Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL).

The senators say the act would protect student-athletes, maintain fair competition and compensation, strengthen transparency, and preserve the time-honored tradition of college sports.

The legislation would create a national standard for NIL.

According to a press release, the PASS Act would do the following:

Protect student-athletes by:

  • Requiring collectives and boosters to be affiliated with a college or school.
  • Establishing a national standard for NIL.
  • Preserving Title IX and ensuring that nothing in the PASS Act affects the rights of any student-athletes or any programs funded through Title IX.

Protect higher education institutions by:

  • Ensuring that schools, conferences, and associations are not liable for their efforts to comply with the PASS Act.
  • Prohibiting NIL agreements that involve alcohol, drugs, or conflict with existing school and conference licenses.
  • Requiring student-athletes to ask permission to make use of existing intellectual property (IP).

Preserve the future of college sports by prohibiting inducements.

Improve transparency of NIL activities by:

  • 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.

Moderate the Transfer Portal by:

  • Requiring student-athletes to complete their first three years of academic eligibility before allowing them to transfer without penalty, subject to a few exceptions.

Ensure the health and safety of student-athletes by:

  • Guaranteeing health insurance for sports-related injuries for uninsured student-athletes for 8 years following graduation from a 4-year institution.
  • Requiring institutions generating more than $20 million and $50 million in athletics revenue to pay out-of-pocket expenses for two and four years, respectively.
  • Requiring institutions to honor the original scholarship commitment made to a student-athlete.
  • Implementing a Uniform Standard Contract for student-athlete use for NIL deals.
  • Enhancing curriculum on financial literacy, NIL rights, and related legal and regulatory issues.

Strengthen enforcement and oversight by directing the NCAA to oversee and investigate NIL activities and report violations to the Federal Trade Commission.

“Student athletes should be able to take advantage of NIL promotional activities without impacting their ability to play collegiate sports,” Coach Tuberville said. “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.”

“As a former college athlete, I know how important sports are to gaining valuable life skills and opening doors of opportunity. 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,” said Senator Manchin. “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.”

“Auburn University appreciates the efforts undertaken by Senators Tommy Tuberville and Joe Manchin to create a national framework for NIL that establishes clear rules and addresses the patchwork of conflicting state laws governing collegiate athletics. We look forward to continuing to work with these offices, other members of the House and Senate, and the Southeastern Conference as this process continues,” said Auburn University President Christopher B. Roberts.

“The Southeastern Conference appreciates the efforts of Senator Tommy Tuberville and Senator Joe Manchin in their work to craft a bill that addresses the opportunity for college athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness, and other issues important to the future of college sports. Senators Tuberville and Manchin have a keen understanding of the need for national standards to preserve the integrity of fair competition at all levels of intercollegiate athletics. We look forward to continuing to engage with members of the House and Senate to refine and work toward effective national legislation that creates and preserves opportunities for all college athletes,” in a statement from the Southeastern Conference.