MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Sen. Tommy Tuberville, along with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, introduced legislation recently to regulate Name, Image and Likeness, or NIL.
It’s called the Protecting Athletes, Schools and Sports Act, or the PASS Act. Tuberville says overall, it creates a national standard for NIL to keep college sports fair.
Among its many provisions, the bill would require collectives and boosters to be affiliated with a college. It would also require agents and collectives to register with a regulating body. Student-athletes also must complete their first three years of academic eligibility before allowing them to transfer without penalty.
“It gives everybody a fair opportunity. Now, after this, if we get this passed, the NCAA will take it and they will build off of it. Because when I was coaching, the rule book looked like a Sears catalog. It was 3, 4 inches thick. We don’t need that,” Tuberville said.
Other elements of the bill are centered on student-athletes more directly. One section would guarantee health insurance for sports-related injuries for uninsured student-athletes for eight years following graduation.
Another part requires an enhanced curriculum on financial literacy, NIL rights and related legal and regulatory issues.
“Now I’m all for young men and women making money. I know how hard it is. But the Supreme Court said it was for Name, Image and Likeness. It wasn’t for recruiting. It wasn’t for transferring. It’s when you get there, you can make money off of your performance, and people like what you do, and they can market you,” Tuberville said.
The bill comes after a yearlong effort by Tuberville and Manchin to get feedback from athletic leaders and student-athletes. In a statement, NCAA President Charlie Baker said the legislation is a major step in the right direction.
It’s unclear when Congress may consider this bill, as they are currently out on August recess.