U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville criticized the growing influence of money in college sports, but believes there are ways to fix the problem.
College sports are a great tradition.
They open doors of opportunity & teach lessons that last a lifetime.
But differing state laws have made the rules unclear.
— Coach Tommy Tuberville (@SenTuberville) September 3, 2023
Tuberville (R-Auburn) recently joined U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in introducing a bill that would regulate Name Image and Likeness (NIL) standards nationwide.
The former Auburn head football coach told Fox News Digital that, without some needed regulations, NIL could destroy college athletics as we know it.
“I’m fine with it. I think it’s good that players make money off their name, but it’s gotten out of hand,” Tuberville said. “Right now it’s a Wild West. It’s out of control. Money is flying everywhere. Some players are getting their money, some players aren’t.
“There’s no oversight. So we’re trying to put some oversight into this.”
Tuberville’s Protecting Athletes, Schools and Sports (PASS) Act would regulate collectives and boosters, preserve Title IX, moderate the transfer portal, create uniform NIL standards across the country, and strengthen enforcement and oversight.
“All the coaches and administrators started coming to me because they knew I knew quite a bit about college sports,” Tuberville continued, “and they asked me to get involved. They were very concerned about the future and the direction that this NIL is taking college athletes and college sports.”
Tuberville explained how NIL is damaging the transfer portal, which is why he added some of those regulations to his bill.
“It’s just become a bidding war, to be honest with you,” he said. “Players are getting involved with agents and lawyers and accountants and trying to make more and more money instead of, number one, getting an education, and number two, having a lifelong experience.”
He also said “follow the money,” when in comes to why there have been major conference realignments in recent years.
“That’s what’s happening here with these universities that are going from pretty much from the West Coast trying to compete against the East Coast teams,” he said, “because they have really nothing going for them when it comes to TV because most of the people on the East Coast that really love college sports are in bed.”
Tuberville said the legislation is needed to keep the main focus on students getting a good education instead of making money.
“College sports should be all about education first, and college sports second, and making sure that everybody has a great experience,” he said. “They’re all trying to get to the money because money drives everything. As we all know, television drives the money. I just hope that they don’t ruin the golden goose that is helping all sports and not just look out for one or two sports.”