Report: Pac-12, SEC commissioners to pitch Senate on creation of federal NIL legislation

On3 imageby:Nick Schultz05/04/22


As NIL approaches its one-year anniversary in college athletics, two Power Five commissioners are heading to Capitol Hill to get lawmakers involved.

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey are heading to Washington, D.C., to meet with U.S. senators about federal NIL legislation, according to Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger. He added they’ll meet with Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), among possibly others, to talk about potential NIL laws at the federal level.

Last July, the NCAA implemented policy regarding players’ abilities to profit off their name, image and likeness. However, it was fairly vague, and boosters are starting to find ways around it. That’s why Kliavkoff and Sankey are heading to Congress to try and make changes.

The problem, Dellenger wrote, is that federal NIL legislation might not come quickly. He said “many believe it’s a longshot” to happen this year.

NIL has been at the forefront of discussion across college sports all year, but that conversation roared its ugly head in the last week or so. Pittsburgh star wide receiver Jordan Addison put his name into the portal and rumors swirled of an NIL deal waiting for him if he heads to USC. Those rumors started before Addison entered the portal, which is why Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi accused USC and coach Lincoln Riley of tampering.

Additionally, conversations are ongoing about potential rule changes from the NCAA. Earlier this week, Dellenger reported things could get interesting regarding boosters’ roles in recruiting.

“College leaders are gearing up to issue a warning to hundreds of wealthy boosters who are using name, image and likeness (NIL) ventures to involve themselves in recruiting,” Dellenger wrote Wednesday. “University administrators, part of a task force to review NIL, are finalizing additional guidelines that are expected to clarify that boosters and booster-led collectives are prohibited from involvement in recruiting.

“The guidelines will provide more guidance to member schools on what many administrators say are NIL-disguised ‘pay for play’ deals orchestrated by donors to induce prospects, recruit players off other college teams and retain their own athletes.”

Dellenger also cited a source saying things are getting “out of hand” regarding NIL and the transfer portal in college athletics. NIL collectives have become a staple of the new landscape in collegiate athletics, and the sense is boosters are getting too involved with recruiting. In fact, some argue they shouldn’t be involved in recruiting at all.