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Bipartisan Federal NIL Bill Reintroduced

by michelle
Published: Last Updated on

Recap: The bipartisan federal NIL bill by Rep Gonzalez and Cleaver is one of three NIL bills that was introduced during the Congressional session. However, it was the only one with multiple co-sponsors from each party. There are two amendments to their previous proposal:

1. If the NCAA, conference, or school prohibits athletes from deals with certain types of companies (ex tobacco, gambling), then they also could not have sponsorship deals within that category.

2. Athletes will be permitted to wear apparel in connection with an endorsement deal anywhere outside of an “athletic competition or an athletic-related university-sponsored event”.

Observations: With bipartisan support and an endorsement statement from the NCAA, this appears to be the bill that may be the foundation of NIL legislation. This bill, which NIL Network previously ranked middle of the road for athlete friendliness, will likely still have amendments over the next few months.

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives are re-introducing a bipartisan bill on Monday regarding college athletes’ ability to make money from their name, image and likeness.

The measure from Reps. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, and Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., is largely similar to the version that they offered last September but was not acted upon before that Congressional session ended. However, according to a copy of the bill provided to USA TODAY Sports, there are changes that could benefit athletes more than their initial measure did.  

This becomes the third bill related to college sports and the issue of name, image and likeness (NIL) to be introduced during this Congressional session. But unlike bills from Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and from the tandem of Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Mass., this one has support from multiple legislators from both parties. Three other Democrats and three other Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors.

“We thought that it’s time for us to put a stake in the ground so that we can begin to talk and negotiate on this issue,” Cleaver told USA TODAY Sports. “We obviously realize we’ve got to reconcile a House bill with a Senate bill. At this point, there’s no hostility. It’s not like the House version versus the Senate version. . . . All of us pretty much want the same thing. This is a civil rights issue and we want to set the athletes free — not unlike what Moses did.”


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