The NCAA’s rules and regulations have always been contested, providing arguments from players and supporters that athletes should receive some compensation from the multibillion-dollar industry.

NCAA president Mark Emmert has taken to Capitol Hill to continue the organization’s uphill battle to maintain control over the future of college athletics. He is focused on navigating legal and legislative challenges to what he calls the “collegiate model” of sports.

The main challenge staring Emmert and the NCAA in the face is the deterioration of public confidence in the organization and their ability to fix their own problems. Now, the group seeks helps from federal lawmakers.

Emmert met with a group of lawmakers including Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida). The meeting was the first with a bipartisan political group to talk about college athlete compensation. The plan is to meet with other constituents as well, especially athletes, in order to shape and create new laws surrounding college sports.


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Murphy, who has been an outspoken critic of the NCAA said, “I think it’s time for us to recognize that student-athletes need to get a little bit more than they are today. They need to receive a little bit more protection, financially and otherwise. I’m really grateful that the NCAA is willing to be part of this conversation.”

This turn to Congress comes after individual states took the lead in creating laws about athlete compensation. California passed a law that, starting in 2023, it will be illegal for schools to punish an athlete for profiting from his or her name, image or likeness. Emmert believes this would make it impossible for an even playing field to exist and that the rules should cover a national solution.

The argument lies also in the importance of the distinction between college and professional sports and the core principles around the NCAA, something Emmert told senators during the meeting.

It seems as though this battle will continue to seek a solution, but steps are being taken in the right direction.


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