HELENA, Mont. - U.S. Senator Jon Tester urged his colleagues to work with him to make a bill establishing national Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) rights for NCAA student-athletes.
According to a release from Sen. Tester, 18 states have passed a patchwork of laws allowing student-athletes to benefit from their NIL, with six of those state laws going into effect this July.
The release goes on to say witnesses including NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert, Gonzaga Head Basketball Coach Mark Few, Howard University President Dr. Wayne A.I Frederick, and others, all cited inconsistencies in state laws as a challenge to preserving equal opportunities for NCAA student-athletes and universities, leading Tester to press for a universal standard for all NCAA athletes.
Sen. Tester asked NCAA President Mark Emmert if he agreed that if there were a national bill that would apply evenly across the board if that would be something that could help student-athletes and the universities behind them.
Emmert told Sen. Tester he thinks that is the only sensible approach.
Tester continued, saying he is concerned that if a patchwork were set up, if the NIL isn’t done right, “isn’t it a fact that it would impact all of the other sports out there that gives opportunity for a lot of folks that we never see on TV, that ESPN never reports on, and would actually take away opportunity from them?”
“I think the failure to pass a national standard would indeed deny them that opportunity that you’re talking about … I hope that [a national standard] would provide opportunities that don’t exist today for student-athletes in a place like Havre, Montana,” Emmert responded.