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SEC, Pac-12 to Pitch Senate on NIL Legislation

Paul Steinbach
Ajay Parthasarathy 0o Tlq1 E3 Vq0 Unsplash

Two Power 5 commissioners plan to lobby lawmakers for the creation of federal legislation to regulate name, image and likeness.

A U.S. Senate aide told Sports Illustrated that Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey will meet with U.S. senators on Capitol Hill to fight for a congressional mandate to regulate what has evolved into what SI's Ross Dellenger described as "the NCAA’s latest festering problem."

Sankey and Kliavkoff, two of the industry’s most influential leaders, are teaming up to encourage lawmakers to pass an NIL statute. They are also expected to seek senators’ help in preventing what they believe is another potential issue looming for college sports: employment status for college athletes, Dellenger reported.

The priority remains concern over the10-month-old NIL concept, which has created chaos in Division I as players appear to be transferring institutions in search of better deals and booster collectives have been accused of influencing prospect recruitment with growing amounts of cash. The situation has been cited as the reason Wichita State on Wednesday fired athletic director Darron Boatright, who was criticized for not providing Shocker athletes with ample NIL opportunities. Eight men's basketball players are defecting from the program as a result.

Related: Wichita State Fires AD Boatright Amid NIL Criticism

The commissioners are seeking a federal solution to NIL, which industry experts believe is the only real solvent for this burgeoning problem, Dellenger reported. However, many believe it’s a longshot for this year.

Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on legislation last year before a July 1 deadline that saw several states enact laws, forcing the NCAA to ditch its longtime amateurism policy governing athlete compensation. Instead of implementing a permanent NIL policy — out of fear of legal trouble— the NCAA released only vague guidelines that boosters are now skirting, according to SI.

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