Drake Group Examines Congressional Efforts to Alleviate the NIL Chaos

Drake Group Examines Congressional Efforts to Alleviate the NIL Chaos

The Drake Group has released an executive summary of key elements and comments on each of seven legislative initiatives announced thus far in the 118th Congress.

There are currently eight federal bills or bill discussion drafts related to college athletes’ rights to monetize their names, images, and likenesses (NILs) via employment outside their colleges and universities being considered by Congress. One of these bills, Senator John Thune’s S. 1454 Athlete Opportunity and Taxpayer Integrity Act, an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code, is limited to requiring that individuals or NIL booster collectives paying athletes for their NIL services cannot declare these expenses as tax deductible donations unless the contribution is made to an eligible educational institution.

The remaining seven bills have various provisions that seek to protect college athletes’ rights to such employment such as preventing unscrupulous agents or third parties from taking advantage of college athletes or providing complaint and enforcement mechanisms. Some bills aim to ensure that NIL booster collectives or other third parties seeking to advance institutional recruiting and financial aid interests do not enable institutions to evade their Title IX obligations or allow boosters to violate NCAA recruiting inducement prohibitions.

Certain of the proposed bills seek to protect the institutions from a patchwork of conflicting state NIL laws or the prospect of antitrust litigation. Some bills seek to provide athletes with much needed assurances that their short and long-term medical expenses for athletics injury will be covered by their athletic departments.

Those bills included in The Drake Group analysis include:

  • Senators Cory Booker (NJ-D), Richard Blumenthal (CT-D), Jerry Moran (KS-R) College Athletes Protection and Compensation Act of 2023
  • Senator Chris Murphy (CT-D) and Representative Lori Trahan (MA-D): The College Athlete Economic Freedom Act
  • Senators. Joe Manchin (WV-D), Tommy Tuberville (AL-R) Protecting Athletes, Schools, and Sports Act of 2023
  • Reps. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12-R) Fairness, Accountability, and Integrity in Representation of College Sports Act V2
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (TX-R) Untitled NIL Bill
  • Representative Mike Carey (OH-15-R) and Representative Greg Landsman (OH-D), H.R. 3630 Student Athlete Level Playing Field Act
  • Sen. Lindsay Graham (NC-R) NIL Clearinghouse Act of 2023