Name, Image and Likness (NIL) has made a sudden and impressive appearance at the collegiate level, especially in paid sports like football and basketball – and it’s here to stay.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many state-to-state guardrails about how NIL is governed and controlled, and it has led to a lot of inequality and expansion of rules across the country. NIL is a good thing for student-athletes to finally capitalize on their hard work, but no one really knows how best to support and rein in it. When there are loopholes, some will always find a way around the spirit of what is intended.
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Gene Smith, Ohio State athletic director, has been a supporter of NIL, but has been constantly advocating that there needs to be better oversight to level the playing field between teams, conferences, and states.
Well, now Smith is backing an effort to do just that from Ohio Congressmen Mike Carey and Greg Landsmen. Called the Student Athlete Level Playing Field Act, it is a bipartisan bill designed to create a standard for NIL at the federal level.
Today @RepGregLandsman & I introduced the Student Athlete Playing Field Act to create a single federal standard for name, image, and likeness in college sports.
— Congressman Mike Carey (@RepMikeCarey) May 24, 2023
“I am pleased that student-athletes now have the opportunity to capitalize on their name, image and likeness,” Smith said in a statement. statement released by Carey’s office. “At Ohio State, our NIL programming helps student-athletes cash in on their hard work, generate income for necessary expenses, and learn marketing and financial literacy skills. However, NIL laws and regulations remain inconsistent from state to state. Representative Carey’s work to establish consistent, national NIL regulations will further protect student athletes and bring order to NIL policies and procedures. On behalf of Ohio State, I want to thank Representative Carey for this important and important piece of legislation.
We can’t argue that anything is needed at the federal level to keep things under control and hold those in power accountable for the brave new world of NIL, and we sincerely hope that this or any other bill finds its way into law on sometime in the very near future.