Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss a new potential NIL bill being drafted by Senator Tommy Tuberville (AL) and Senator Joe Manchin (WV), and debate if there is a real possibility that it lays a new framework for NIL in college sports. Hint: It probably won’t.
DAN WETZEL: This is federal legislation, possibly the big NIL push that everybody wants the feds to come in and solve the problem. You spoke with college football's favorite Senator, Tommy Tuberville, about a proposal that he and Joe Manchin-- Tuberville's out of Alabama. He used to coach Auburn, of course, and many other schools. Joe Manchin is from West Virginia, is buddies with Nick Saban. They are going to try to come up with some NIL legislation, bipartisan, all of that.
Tuberville described the NIL situation in college sports as a, quote, "mess," unquote, and a, quote, "free for all," end quote. Talked to my coaching buddies. They've never seen anything like it, Tuberville said. "When you don't have guidelines and direction, no matter what you're doing, you are lost. They are all lost right now," end quote.
As we know, Auburn has never had any pay per play allegations involving them, so--
Sure this is hurting the sensibilities of Coach Tuberville, that this is going on. What is this proposal? I read your story, and I saw lots of buzzwords and general lamenting. But I didn't really understand what they were proposing. But I'm not very political.
ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah, it's not a lot of specific.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah.
ROSS DELLENGER: Not a lot of specifics, not a lot of concepts right now. They don't have any kind of real-- or they at least didn't tell me they had any kind of real framework for a bill at all. It's in the infancy stage, is how they describe it. They are sending out letters to all the commissioners and athletic directors in a different conference offices-- and I would guess the NCAA office as well-- hoping for feedback from stakeholders in college sports.
Let me preface all this by saying this has happened now for, like, four years, right? This is like the ninth bill-- or this would be the ninth-- if it does happen, this would be the ninth NIL Bill proposed or filed in Congress. None of them have advanced even to the first step that you would have in the legislative process, despite us having probably at least eight, maybe as many as 10 to 12, hearings on NIL. It is just not advanced at all.
The fact that this one's coming from a first time Senator who isn't on, really, many powerful committees-- isn't super connected, right, in politics, he's just a year and a half in-- and the fact that they don't have any framework at all, would tell you that this is-- there's just-- there's a lot of red flags here on this thing having momentum to go the next level or the next step. So I'll just preface it with that. Don't get your hopes up on this thing going through.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, so what stopped the other eight bills? And I guess you probably already answered this question. Like, why should we believe nine is going to be any different?
ROSS DELLENGER: I don't think you should believe the ninth is going to be any different, probably. But if you did want to believe that, I think you might look at the man who is drafting it, I mean-- or the men who are drafting it. They do have close college football connections. They probably are closer to college football, the sport and the stakeholders in the sport, than any other senators. I would say, certainly, Tuberville that's the case, and Manchin, probably the case, too.
He probably is more knowledgeable about-- these two are probably the most knowledgeable, maybe, in the Senate about college sports and the actual inner workings. So that's a positive. Any bill they create probably is going to be conservative leaning, though. Obviously, Tuberville is very conservative, and Manchin is the most conservative Democrat in the Senate.
So it's going to be a conservative bill. And it's funny, because about an hour right after we dropped that news, there was more congressional news. And this one's from the Democratic side. And so you've got these two-- right, the two parties. And they can't really come together.
Both of these bills will probably be drastically different from one another. They need to be combined, and a compromise needs to be reached, which was close. Last summer, they were close to a compromise-- Roger Wicker, and Maria Cantwell, and Richard Blumenthal on a-- like, a bipartisan bill that could actually have a chance. And at the last minute, last June, right before the NIL deadline hit on July 1, it fell through, mostly because of-- it was several different provisions-- but mostly because of long-term student medical care, is what kind of broke down last summer that.
So don't get your hopes up for anything in the next few months. I'll say that.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, I would extend that to years. I think Cory Booker is part of this one that just came out, former Stanford player. So there's former players. I mean, no one doubts Tuberville. And Man-- these guys all know the game, and they have at least what they consider good intentions.
I'm going to literally lose it if all of a sudden this becomes like a Republican, Democrat issue. Like, no! No!
PAT FORDE: Of all things, right? I mean, this--
DAN WETZEL: I come to college football so I don't have to listen to that nonsense. Like, please, do not do this!