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Power 5 offers NIL legislative framework to Tuberville, Manchin

As the issue of name, image and likeness (NIL) continues to take collegiate athletics by storm, the Power 5 conference commissioners have outlined what they would like to see in a federal solution.

Last month, U.S. Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) announced their intentions to offer legislation to bring about nationwide NIL uniformity. Presently, states have varying rules and regulations surrounding the policy.

Alabama’s junior senator and Manchin have held discussions with University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban regarding his concerns on NIL.

Saban asserted that the policy, instituted to allow student-athletes to profit from their personal brands, was being used as an inducement by boosters to entice prospective recruits.

First reported by Sports Illustrated, the commissioners of collegiate athletics’ Power 5 conferences have sent a letter to Tuberville and Manchin detailing what should be incorporated in the legislation.

The commissioners said they recognize and support the rights of student-athletes to profit from their brands. However, they advised that boosters were using NIL against the spirit of the newly established policy.

“Problems have emerged where it appears boosters are inducing high school and potential transfer student-athletes to attend their favored universities with payments inaccurately labeled as NIL licenses, with no connection to the value of any endorsement or NIL activity,” the commissioners wrote. “This kind of inducement was not what anyone had in mind when NIL was created, and federal legislation sponsored by members of both parties sought to prohibit the use of NIL as a recruiting inducement.”

Letter obtained by Sports Illustrated:

The commissioners offered six pillars to drafting “a fair, and enforceable, federal framework for NIL”:

  • All student-athletes, regardless of their state, have the right to pursue NIL opportunities
  • Disallow boosters to use NIL as a means to entice recruits to play for a program
  • Institute safeguards for student-athletes and appropriate dispute resolution processes regarding NIL licenses
  • Prohibit third parties from obtaining long-term rights to student-athletes’ NIL
  • Ensure student-athletes are earning fair market compensation from NIL deals
  • Provide a “reasonable mechanism” for the disclosure of NIL deals for the sake of transparency

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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