The fourth congressional hearing this year on how to allow college athletes to earn money from their names, images and likenesses came Tuesday with a stern warning from one senator.
“I think this is a huge mistake,” Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said.
The U.S. Senate Committee of Health, Education, Labor & Pensions held a hearing on compensating college athletes as the NCAA changes its rules to allow athletes to profit from their fame.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the committee, opened the hearing by defending the NCAA and its model for amateurism. He suggested athletes should have to share any money they earn with their athletic programs.
Alexander also said Congress should protect the NCAA’s right to make rules regarding NIL compensation.
“I do not see a good ending to allowing a few students to be paid by commercial interests while most of their teammates are not,” said Alexander, who ran track at Vanderbilt in the 1960s.
The NCAA is working to change its rules restricting athletes from earning money for things such as endorsements, and in-person appearances. All three divisions must come up with plans by November for legislation.