U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) recently said his proposed Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) legislation will help defend women's sports in universities nationwide.
The Protecting Athletes, Schools, and Sports (PASS) Act, sponsored by Tuberville, a former Auburn football head coach, and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (R-W. Va.), sets nationwide NIL rules in college sports. On a Wednesday press call, Tuberville boasted that the legislation would "save college sports at all levels."
NIL deals allow college athletes to profit from their status through sponsorship deals and other NIL arrangements with outside parties. Before July 2021, the NCAA restricted these deals. That summer, however, the NCAA removed many restrictions, opening up NIL deals to college athletes in any state that would allow them.
"Senator Joe Manchin and I have been working for more than a year to create national standards related to [NIL]," Tuberville said. "As I've said before, I support college athletes making money, but the current system is a complete mess, and we have to get the train back on the tracks."
The legislation would forbid NIL promotions to be used as a "pay-to-play" arrangement, require training in financial literacy, mandate oversight for NIL activities and more.
"We also need to ensure that NIL promotional don't take away from the whole purpose of athletic scholarships, which is to give students a good college education," Tuberville continued.
Additionally, Tuberville said the PASS Act would prevent excessive university spending from shutting down certain women's and Olympic sports.
"A lot of the money that would normally go into women's sports and Olympic sports are going to go to players," Tuberville said. "There's only so much of the pie that goes around. And if we continue to slice this pie a lot thinner, then you're going to see some universities dropping some of the Olympic sports and some of the women's sports."
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