Intense debate was sparked this offseason surrounding the operations of collectives, which pool private donors to leverage name, image and likeness (NIL) in recruiting student-athletes.
The use of collectives, which are entities independent of universities, was criticized by Alabama head coach Nick Saban after it was rumored that SEC West Division rival Texas A&M spent $30 million on NIL deals on its historic 2022 recruiting class.
U.S. Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) have since partnered to offer a federal solution in an attempt to bring nationwide uniformity to NIL regulation. Currently, various states have differing laws on the books governing NIL.
This month, Tuberville took exception to the NCAA declining to regulate NIL. Alabama’s junior senator said the association was “scared of their own shadow,” due to potential lawsuit exposure.
The senators have garnered feedback from the college Power 5 conference commissioners, who outlined six pillars to drafting “a fair, and enforceable, federal framework for NIL.”
In a letter to the donor-pooling entities around the nation, first obtained by USA Today, Tuberville and Manchin asked for input on how their operations benefitted student-athletes.
“Last month our Senate offices solicited input and feedback from a broad range of interested stakeholders on priorities for potential federal NIL legislation,” wrote the senators. “The response to our solicitation was robust, and we appreciate the respondents’ thoughtful submissions. Notably, more than seventy percent of the commenters recommended that any future legislation address the issue of whether and how to regulate, control, or ban collectives.”
“In our August letter, we set forth our priorities for a legislative solution: to protect student-athletes, ensure fair competition and compensation, and preserve the time-honored traditions of college sports,” the letter continued. “We welcome your input as to how your organization advances these goals and how any potential legislation could provide a regulatory structure for your organization.”
Read the letter in full:
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL