U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville told reporters during a weekly press call that he plans to introduce a bill to regulate name, image and likeness rights, or NIL, in the U.S. Senate later this week or next week.
“I support college athletes making money, but the system we have right now is a mess,” said Tuberville. He went on to say, “We need some basic national rules because college sports are a nationwide business.”
Sen. Tuberville has been working on this bill with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. NIL allows athletes to make money off their name, image and likeness by doing things like endorsements or commercials. Sen. Tuberville, a former college football coach, wants federal regulations in place for NIL so all athletes and schools play by the same set of rules.
“We want to do something about recruitment aspects of what’s going on. I won’t get into particulars there, but right now, we have a lot of money being spent in recruiting players in ninth and 10th grade, which is ridiculous. NIL was not meant to give money to ninth and 10th graders. It was meant to help young people make money off their name, image or likeness, but they have to earn it. The other thing is to get all 50 states on same page,” said Sen. Tuberville.
Senator Tuberville also discussed the input he has received from those involved in collegiate athletics.
“They have helped with this. Coaches from all over the country, athletic directors, presidents and groups from collectives and players. We have asked an enormous group to make recommendations. Coaches are begging for some relief. They are in it to compete against other schools. What we have is an unfair rule. What I am very concerned, number one, is the education of the student-athlete. Number two, is future of women’s sports and Olympic sports. If we continue down this road, all this money will go to several athletes on different teams, and the money to support these non-revenue sports will not be there. So, we will not be able to sustain what we have had in the past,” said Sen. Tuberville.
Back in June, several SEC coaches, including Alabama’s Nick Saban, traveled to Washington, D.C., to discuss NIL regulations with lawmakers.