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Oregon ADs Ask State to Wait for Congress on NIL

Brock Fritz

Oregon lawmakers appear to be moving forward with name, image and likeness legislation. The state’s Division I athletic directors would rather they wait.

According to The Oregonian, the ADs at Oregon, Oregon State, Portland and Portland State believe college athletes should be able to benefit from their name, image and likeness, but they would prefer to wait for Congress to enact national legislation.

However, Oregon senators Peter Courtney and James Manning Jr. continue to push Senate Bill 5, which they co-sponsored to allow college athletes in the state to earn compensation for their name, image and likeness. If the bill becomes law, athletes will also be allowed to retain representation related to NIL  opportunities. Oregon athletes could earn NIL compensation as early as July 1.

“We have been waiting a long time and so have these student-athletes,” Manning said during Thursday’s Senate rules committee hearing. “This is a defining moment in time to determine and say that this is who we are and we actually support these students that are out there.”

The Oregonian points out that Senate Bill 5 separates itself from other state NIL bills by requiring “royalty payments” be paid to current members of a team from a school’s “merchandising agreement” and “royalty payments plus premium to current or former member of team whose name, image or likeness is used.”

University of Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said that Senate Bill 5 would create several unanswered logistical issues and require the university to hire compliance staff and an attorney prior to July 1. He also said the royalty payments provision of the bill is “currently too vague to operationalize.”

“A national solution that establishes a clear and uniform standard governing name, image and likeness parameters is the best way to ensure a single standard that makes it possible to provide equal opportunity to all student-athletes,” Mullens testified Thursday. “However, if state lawmakers are committed to codifying Oregon specific name, image, likeness rights into Oregon state law, we look forward to working with you on a bill that can be effective and one that does not adversely impact any student-athlete, individual sport or universities. In its current form, we believe Senate Bill 5 falls short of that mark.

“There are several component of this bill that require considerable further discussion and we believe a candid conversation between the committee, the universities and the student-athletes about how to best accomplish the goals of name, image, likeness and avoid potential negative unintended consequences of this bill would be valuable for all.”

Athletes across the country have been speaking out more often against the current NCAA system, which doesn’t allow student-athletes to receive benefits.

“It is time to challenge the higher authorities of the college sports industry and fight for the rights of the student-athlete,” Oregon State football player Jaydon Grant said. “This is an opportunity to change the narrative of college athletics in the state of Oregon for the student-athlete. An opportunity not only to crate for current student-athletes but all student-athletes that will follow.”

California started the movement of state’s introducing NIL bills. California’s law is scheduled to take effect in 2023, while Florida’s NIL law is scheduled to begin July 1. Colorado, Nebraska, New Jersey and Michigan have also passed legislation.

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