MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) – Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville is working to regulate how college athletes can get paid for their name, image and likeness.
Tuberville says the world of college sports has changed as we know it following the Supreme Court ruling last year that players can get paid for NIL.
Several Alabama athletes are benefiting from the ruling. University of Alabama Quarterback Bryce Young is now a regular in Dr. Pepper ads. One ad even has a character questioning “How many NIL deals does Bryce Young have?”
Young is valued at $3.2 million in NIL deals, according to On3, a recruiting site. Alongside Dr. Pepper, Young is also featured in a Nissan ad and has partnered with several other companies.
Tuscaloosa Sen. Gerald Allen says he’s a fan of Young, calling him a role model and “sharp as a tack,” but says there needs to be a better way to regulate NIL before teams and companies can essentially buy their players.
“You’re moving into a new direction where you have a semi-pro league in the top five conferences. You’re on the track to destroy collegiate athletics,” Allen said.
Tuberville, a former Auburn football coach, announced he’s working with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin to draft a bill regulating NIL.
“The NCAA’s lack of leadership has created an environment where student-athletes can be exploited, and wealthy boosters can be empowered. That has to stop,” Tuberville said in remarks Wednesday morning.
Tuberville says they sent a letter to athletic directors, university presidents and student-athlete groups asking for input last month.
Over the next several weeks, he says he’s aiming to draft legislation that could win bipartisan support — focused on protecting student-athletes, ensuring fair competition and compensation and preserving the traditions of college sports.
“Because of the NCAA’s lack of meaningful leadership and clarity, it has become increasingly apparent that the federal government will have to act,” Tuberville said.
Tuberville says he looks forward to debate on the issue in Congress this fall.