Power 5’s Ask

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  • Power 5 conference commissioners sent a letter to Congress for legislation on paying college athletes.

The commissioners of the Power 5 conferences have sent a letter to congressional leaders asking for federal legislation to govern pay for college athletes. 

The letter, dated May 23 and signed by the commissioners of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC, outlines the NCAA’s priorities for name, image and likeness compensation while also requesting an anti-trust exemption and a national law. California and Colorado have already passed NIL laws, while 11 other states have legislation in the works. “We expect most if not all states to pass their own disparate NIL laws in early 2021, to take effect in the summer of 2021 if not sooner,” the letter said. 

Other NCAA priorities include: 

  • Recognizing athletes as students and not employees and ensuring they are not paid to play sports.                               
  • Prohibiting universities from paying NIL compensation to student-athletes.
  • Prohibiting boosters from engaging in NIL activity with student-athletes.

The Power 5 conferences spent $350,000 on lobbying in the first quarter of 2020, more than they have spent previously in any full year. The NCAA spent $130,000 in Q1 as well and is on track for a record amount of lobbying spending.

Back to School
As the conferences addressed their proposal to pay athletes, the NCAA released its own plan to help schools bring them back to campus. The Core Principles Resocialization of Collegiate Sport lists three separate implementation phases that the NCAA says should remain consistent with federal and local health guidance. Schools across the country are preparing for the return of football players as early as June 8.