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Democratic senators Cory Booker and Richard Blumenthal will introduce a Name, Image, and Likeness bill for NCAA players today. If passed, college athletes would have much more freedom to market themselves, and there could also be revenue sharing.
In a statement to The Athletic, Senator Booker discussed the framework of a revenue sharing system, and how this bill would set in motion a return for the NCAA video game, which has been sorely missed by gamers:
“It is not that complex to come up with a system that takes a very small percentage — roughly eight to 12 percent — and creates revenue sharing for the revenue-generating sports and that’s what we have in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s baseball and Division 1 football,” said Senator Booker. “It creates a revenue-sharing opportunity based upon a formula that’s in the bill. I think that’s something that’s very achievable. In terms of group licensing, you can have the same kind of elegance with how you share that wealth that would come from such a licensing agreement and return us to the days that many of us enjoyed, where you could sit down and play a video game with NCAA athletes.”
According to USA Today, the bill also includes healthcare provisions and protections on scholarships.
Bills that would allow college athletes to benefit from Name, Image, and Likeness have already been passed in states like California and Florida, but if it passed federally, that would obviously be a massive game-changer. There are myriad ways that college football and basketball players could market themselves, whether by signing autographs or doing endorsement deals with car dealerships.
It’s been a busy week for the NCAA, as the Supreme Court just announced on Wednesday that it is hearing an antitrust case about other benefits.