President of NCAA Calls for Laws to Regulate Payments to College Athletes

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Charlie Baker, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association) President, has said that there is an urgent need for a federal law to govern the payments to college athletes for endorsement deals.

He made the comments at the University of Arizona’s “The Future of College Sports” conference and stressed that the law should be passed this year before next year’s election cycle. A bill has already been introduced, and Baker said that at least two additional bills are currently being drafted.

The NCAA removed its ban on college athletes earning money from sponsorship deals and endorsements in 2020. However, due to the lack of regulations, there are different standards across the US. This has led to athletes relying on state laws, booster-funded collectives, and donor support for compensation.

Baker, together with other prominent figures in the college sports scene, has been engaging with lawmakers in Washington in pursuit of regulation of name, image, and likeness (NIL) compensation. Drafted legislation exists, and senators Tommy Tuberville and Joe Manchin have indicated they will introduce bills.

In the same conference, Baker also spoke about the NCAA’s attitude toward sports betting. He said that it is a “major opportunity” but warned that the impact on college athletes needs more consideration, and he called for a program to be created to give athletes the tools they need to understand the industry and its implications.

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