A congressional hearing Wednesday targeting “no chaos” in college sports drifted into the ramifications of deeming athletes employees of their schools and mostly highlighted those who support congressional intervention to protect the college model.
A subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held its first college sports-related hearing on Capitol Hill in more than two years.
The intended focus was to offset the name, image, and likeness of the athletes. College sports leaders have asked for help in the form of federal law to bring uniform regulation of the way athletes can make money from their fame through sponsorship deals or endorsements.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL – R), chair of the Subcommittee on Innovation, Data and Commerce, said passing a federal law that would invalidate existing state laws would provide clarity and transparency for athletes.
“The lack of uniformity across states and different institutions has created confusion and uncertainty and a federal standard is needed, so all athletes play by the same rules,” Belrakis said. In short, we must strike a delicate balance between the rights of collegiate athletes to benefit from their NIL while maintaining amateur status for all collegiate athletes.
On Wednesday, a subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held its first college sports-related hearing on Capitol Hill in more than two years.
Miami NCAA college basketball guards and sisters Haley and Hannah Cavender may be the faces of the NIL movement in college sports, having amassed a large following on social media.
The 22-year-old Cavinder twins, Haley and Hanna, have a social media following that outstrips most professional sports organizations — with 4.5 million followers on TikTok.
The Cavinder girls have used their creativity, athletic prowess, and aesthetics to secure endorsement deals with Victoria’s Secret Pink, Boost Mobile, Champs Sports, Leaf Trading Cards, Intruit TurboTax, and more.
according to On the count to 3, evaluating the pair’s annual NIL worth is $851,000 each — despite their young age. She ranks both Hanna and Haley as the two highest-paid players in basketball, and 32/33 overall in college sports.
Meanwhile, LSU gymnast Olivia Dunn he have He became a social media sensation After posting flirty pics on Instagram and lip-synching videos Tik Tok She has amassed a net worth of $2.3 million thanks to gymnastics deals and sponsorships.
Seven previous hearings have taken place in the House and Senate, but lawmakers haven’t made much progress toward passing the college sports bill since the topic first began to gain traction.
The latest hearing took place days before the Final Four of the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments to be played in Texas.
Lawmakers questioned six witnesses for nearly three hours. They’ve heard from two college athletic directors, a Division II university president, former NFL player, current Florida light ballplayer and one of the leaders of an athletic advocacy group.
Most of the witnesses encouraged Congress to act on the NIL.
The Cavinder twins frequently post pics from the basketball court — naturally, side by side
Haley and Hanna Cavinder are collegiate twins who are making waves on and off the NCAA floor
LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne became a social media sensation after posting adorable photos
Dunn is now among the many female athletes who have joined the rank of millionaires through nothing deals
“We need transparency in the market,” said Pat Chun, Washington State athletic director.
But Jason Stahl, executive director of the College Football Players Association, refused. He said any NIL regulations would only serve the interests of the schools, conferences, and NCAA.
“The federal government must stay out of the zero-free market,” he said.
The NCAA lifted its ban on college athletes who make money from their fame nearly two years ago, but fear of lawsuits and the NIL’s statewide body of laws has pushed the association away from creating detailed, uniform rules.
CAA President Charlie Baker said athletes are the consumers in this booming market and that federal law would be a form of consumer protection.
“The current chaos in the zero classes means that student-athletes are left to fend for themselves,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Washington – R). “And those at the top of their game must know how to maneuver through multiple agents, rallies, and high-dollar contract offers while maintaining their academic and athletic commitments.”
A concern among many in college sports is the use of the NIL as a lure to recruit or as an actual payment for playing, which still runs against NCAA rules but is becoming more difficult to enforce.
New NCAA President Charlie Baker, who was not among the witnesses at the hearing, said that athletes are the consumers in this booming market and that federal law would be a form of consumer protection.
“NIL is a powerful avenue that truly allows student-athletes to earn compensation from its unique market value,” Baker said in a statement. “At the same time, the lack of transparency in the NIL market today puts student-athletes at risk of exploitation by bad actors.”
The hearing also deviated to the topic of considering college athletes to be employees and the possibility of requiring colleges to share revenue generated from their sports with athletes.
Texas guard Shaylee Gonzales has 206,000 followers on Tik Tok and another 93,000 on Instagram. Her posts are a mixture of basketball, fashion, personal life, and products that she deals with for nothing
At most Division I schools, revenue from football and basketball helps fund all other sports.
“Creating an employer-employee model will dramatically threaten this current dynamic and change everything we know about how to support sports outside of football and men’s basketball,” said Florida State softball player Kali Mudge.
A bill introduced by a California state lawmaker in January that – if passed – would require some Division I schools to share a percentage of revenue with mostly football and basketball players.
A federal lawsuit being heard in Pennsylvania seeks to have colleges treat Division I athletes like employees and start paying them an hourly rate. A complaint to the National Labor Relations Board could also result in certain college athletes being granted employee status, which could open the door to unionization.
“How does a soccer player unite and a softball player doesn’t unite?” Chun said.
Testifying before lawmakers, National League Commissioner Gene Hebel said in written testimony that Division I athletes are considered employees “likely to serve as a stepping stone to sponsoring athletic programs at Patriot League organizations.”