Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey will have meetings with U.S. senators in Washington D.C. on Thursday “to encourage lawmakers to pass a Name Image and Likeness statute,” according to Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger.
“I have been invited to meetings with several senators tomorrow to discuss the issues we’re seeing with name, image and likeness, and with the existential threat of our student-athletes being deemed to be employees,” Kliavkoff told ESPN.
Kliavkoff and Sankey will meet with at least two lawmakers — Maria Cantwell of Washington and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, according to Sports Illustrated.
“The goal is to discuss a few of the issues facing college athletics with influential senators,” Kliavkoff told ESPN. “I think it’s more likely that we eventually get federal legislation on name, image and likeness, but we’re also interested in discussing all of the harm that will come to student-athletes if they are deemed to be employees.”
There is currently no federal law addressing NIL. When NIL was enacted in 2021, the NCAA passed interim rules and defaulted to each state’s laws on NIL. Federal lawmakers were unable to pass a federal law addressing NIL in 2020.
NIL has been a hot-button issue as of late, with The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel reporting that a five-star football recruit in the Class of 2023 has “signed an agreement with a school’s NIL collective that could pay him more than $8 million.” Miami basketball player Isaiah Wong’s agent said that Wong would transfer if his NIL deal wasn’t increased.