United States Senator Chris Murphy (D – Conn.) on Thursday introduced a bill that would guarantee college athletes the right to make money from their name, image and likeness, while barring the NCAA from curtailing that right.
The College Athlete Economic Freedom Act is the third piece of legislation on NIL to be introduced to Congress since December and the second to be backed by Democrats.
Murphy’s bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Rep Lori Trahan (D – Mass.) and focuses on creating a national standard for NIL compensation that would override the more than two dozen state laws currently waiting to be passed.
Murphy’s law is perhaps the most radical of those introduced so far, giving college athletes full access to the free market, with oversight handed to the Federal Trade Commission.
“It’s simple: this is about restoring athletes’ ownership over the use of their own names and likeness. They own their brand, not their school or the NCAA,” Murphy said in a statement. “Giving students a right to make money off endorsements is just one part of a much broader package of reforms that need to be made to college athletics, but it’s a good start.”
Introduction of Murphy’s bill comes days after the NCAA filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to reaffirm the association’s authority over college athletics. The brief comes in light of a lower court’s ruling that affirmed the legality of NIL, which the NCAA says undermines its ability to govern college sports.
“As leaders at the NCAA finally come to grips with the need for change, it’s important that Congress enact reforms to establish and protect student-athletes’ right to be compensated for the use of their name, image, likeness, or athletic association,” said Trahan, who was a volleyball player for Georgetown.