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Rubio Introduces Legislation to Address Name, Image, Likeness in College Sports

Jun 18, 2020 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced legislation that would require the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to implement rules that will allow student athletes to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness (NIL) by third parties. As more legislatures throughout the United States continue to act on the issue of collegiate athletes being able to monetize off of their NIL, it is clear a patchwork of state laws will bring turmoil to collegiate recruiting, athletics and the student’s college experience. The Fairness in Collegiate Athletics Act (FCAA) seeks to level the playing field and would allow student athletes to seek professional representation, as well as require the NCAA to protect the students from nefarious actors.
“As an avid collegiate athletics fan, and a former football player, this is an issue that is important to me,” Rubio said. “As states continue to pass laws determining how college athletes can be compensated for their name, image, and likeness, it is clear that a patchwork of 50 state laws would be devastating to college sports. The Fairness in Collegiate Athletics Act is an effort to ensure the NCAA implements policies for NIL and even the playing field.”
The Fairness in Collegiate Athletics Act would:

  1. Require the NCAA, or similar intercollegiate athletic association, to implement rules for student athletes to be compensated for their NIL by third parties by June 30, 2021. The NCAA must set forth, processes that, at a minimum:
    • Allow student athletes to obtain professional representation in matters related to NIL, subject to protections under the Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act;
    • Require student disclosure, at the time of agreement and payment, to both their university and the NCAA in a clear, uniform way;
    • Preserves amateur status;
    • Ensures appropriate recruitment of prospective student athletes;
    • Prevents nefarious “Boosters” from recruiting or retaining students.
  2. Authorize Federal Trade Commission enforcement under unfair or deceptive practices statutes.
  3. Provide safe harbor for implementing policies set forth.
  4. Provide preemption of state laws based on NIL.

The Fairness in Collegiate Athletics Act is supported by a number of NCAA conferences and universities.
“Name, image and likeness is an important national issue and we appreciate Senator Marco Rubio’s commitment to constructing legislation that creates a national standard. The Atlantic Coast Conference is committed to its student-athletes and will continue working with Senator Rubio and others towards a national solution.” — Statement from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
“The Southeastern Conference appreciates the leadership of Senator Marco Rubio in crafting a bill that addresses important issues related to the opportunity for college student-athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness.  We thank Senator Rubio and his staff for the opportunities we have been provided to engage on this critical issue for our student-athletes, and we look forward to continuing to work toward effective national legislation that creates and preserves opportunities for all student-athletes.” — Statement from the Southeastern Conference (SEC)

“We are grateful for Senator Rubio’s consideration of the needs of America’s student-athletes.  A nationwide system of rules is imperative to national recruitment and fair competition.  We look forward to collaborating with our elected officials to affect the necessary change.  Further, we are committed to working with policymakers to craft a system that permits student-athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness while also maintaining our uniquely American, education-based collegiate athletics model.”  — Statement from Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby
“The FCAA provides a single clear national standard for NIL that will allow our student athletes to attain their academic goals while providing some added economic opportunity,” W. Kent Fuchs, President of the University of Florida, said.
“FSU is pleased to support the Fairness in Collegiate Athletics Act (FCAA). The legislation establishes a timely and necessary national standard for college student-athletes to be compensated for licensing their names, images and likenesses (NIL),” John Thrasher, President of Florida State University, said. “The preemption provision contained in the FCAA provides a remedy for disparities created by the current patchwork of new NIL compensation rules across the states. Additionally, important safeguards are included to preserve the character and quality of college sports, as well as help maintain emphasis on academic achievement, foster a level playing field for recruiting, and protect student-athletes from unscrupulous actors.”
“Your bill provides important guidance and flexibility to allow the National Collegiate Athletic Association to develop the parameters necessary to ensure fair and uniform compensation for athletes across state lines and preserve the amateur status of collegiate sports,” Steven C. Currall, Ph.D. President and Professor, University of South Florida said. “The University of South Florida is pleased to support you as you work to establish the uniformity necessary to ensure collegiate athletes across the country have the same opportunities for compensation based on their name, image, and likeness, regardless of the state in which they attend school.”
“We applaud Senator Rubio for seeking to ensure that our collegiate athletes have a pathway towards opportunity and that we have a level playing field,” said Pete Garcia, Director of Athletics, Florida International University.
“The University of Miami supports efforts to pass national legislation that would allow student-athletes to capitalize on legitimate and rule-abiding Name, Image and Likeness opportunities,” Blake James, Director of Athletics for the University of Miami, said. “We look forward to working with our leaders in Washington DC, the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference in establishing guidelines and parameters for those opportunities and appreciate Senator Rubio introducing legislation to address this issue.”