Major College Conferences Team Up on Federal NIL Legislation

The Coalition for the Future of College Athletics

The Power Five and HBCUs unite for federal legislation

The Coalition for the Future of College Athletics was founded by over two dozen collegiate athletic conferences, including the Power Five and HBCUs, to build grassroots support for the regulation of athletes’ ability to profit off their name, image, and likeness (NIL) through federal legislation. The announcement was made Wednesday, signaling a united effort to ensure that all players are governed by the same rules.

Moving Beyond NCAA Bans

Following the NCAA’s decision to lift its longstanding ban on athletes earning money from sponsorship and endorsement deals in 2021, various athletes have been monetizing NIL opportunities. This move by the conferences demonstrates their eagerness to address the new challenges that arise from lifting the ban.

Protecting Amateurism

Samantha Azzarelli, senior vice president at Firehouse Strategies, underscores the coalition’s objective is ensuring that college sports remain amateur and not professional sports. As college sports grows to be a big business, it has become apparent that with monetizing NIL comes a host of concerns, posing many questions as to how to sustain college sports without corrupting its amateurism. Regulation is seen as an antidote to the chaos non-regulated college sports could bring.

What’s next?

The establishment of the Coalition for the Future of College Athletics heralds a new chapter in collegiate athletics. As the conversation around NIL regulation continues, it is essential to keep the wider stakeholder group engaged while keeping the interests of college athletes front and center.

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