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NCAA president Charlie Baker urges lawmakers to pass NIL legislation

Photo credit: NCAA

With an upcoming presidential election cycle this fall, there’s a growing pressure for federal legislation regarding college athlete compensation to be hurriedly produced. NCAA president Charlie Baker’s recent visit to Capitol Hill is a major driving force behind this movement.

Baker replaced Mark Emmert as the president of the NCAA in March of 2023. Between now and then, he’s met with lawmakers in an effort to push forward a federal bill.

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Specifically, the NCAA wants a national bill that covers the following:

  • Provides a national NIL framework, overriding state regulations
  • Positions collegiate athletes as students, not employees
  • Creates legal safeguards, allowing the NCAA to propose additional regulations around NIL

“I think there is a greater interest in it, and Charlie Baker has been well received, but I’m not sure it’s at the level of a must-pass bill,” Tom McMillen, a former lawmaker who presides over LEAD1, an association for FBS athletic directors, said to Sports Illustrated. “How do you get this in front of members? I think they’ve got to do it the old-fashioned way. The 1,200 schools have to start calling their reps and tying up the phone lines and emailing them and making a lot of noise here to get this on the docket.”

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There are currently two bills in the home stretch. Bipartisan support is growing, but time will tell if any real movement can happen. If regulation still isn’t passed before the fall or even the winter, it’s likely that any proposal will be stalled during the presidential election season.