The so-called Name Image Likeness (NIL) issue has plagued college athletics since the federal courts determined NCAA member colleges violated antitrust law by disallowing members from providing athletes with unlimited, in-kind educational benefits.

The NCAA v. Alston decision, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2021, has turned collegiate sports on its head and left Congress scrambling for a solution.

One effort put forth by U.S. Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) earlier this week has the backing of one of the all-time greats in college football.

According to Tuberville, University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has endorsed the effort.

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," Tuberville described Saban as being "all-in" on it.

"He's all-in on it," Tuberville said. "I think Joe and myself were trying to get him to make a visit up here in the next few weeks just to sit down with some of the leaders. Probably other coaches will make runs up here because it can't be just us two. It's got to be from the people who actually are living what's going on right now, where they explain to the leadership of the Democrats and the Republicans this is why we need this."

Tuberville said that he anticipated other coaches from around the country to participate in the effort to resolve the NIL issue.

"This is not Coach Tuberville or Joe Manchin's bill," he continued. "This is our bill. We need this passed to save college athletics. And so, we're going to be in touch with coaches and administrators all over the country. If you want this passed, you call your congressman and senator. You also get up here and get in their office. Now, most of them have done that in the last couple of months. Now that the bill is out, they need to replay what happened and get back up here again and get up here again, look them in the face and say, 'We need this to happen. We need it to happen for college sports.' It has got to be a sales job."

"But again, this is not my bill," Tuberville added. "This the bill put together basically by us, but it is the idea of the coaches, administrators, families and the people across the country."

Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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