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An analysis of the six federal name, image & likeness bills in US college sport

American Football Player in Smoke
Friday, 28 July 2023 By David Weber

Part 1 of this article discussed the state action around regulation of name, image and likeness (“NIL”) regulations in US college sport and compared six federal bills that have been published to provide some uniformity on the subject.

These bills are:

While the bills share some common ground on the basics of NIL activity, they diverge from one another significantly from there. The bills that stand out as most different from the others (and in fact on opposite ends of the spectrum as to what the NCAA would like) are the Murphy-Trahan bill and the Graham bill. The Murphy-Trahan bill on the one hand is the closest to a free-market and labor approach to college athletics as we have yet seen with powerful rights and protections granted to college athletes, and the Graham bill on the other hand is the only one which grants the NCAA the most powerful tool to act as it once did – an antitrust exemption. An antitrust exemption could grant the NCAA broad authority to regulate college athletics, even beyond the realm of NIL into other important areas like the transfer portal and restrictions on player movement, grants-in-aid, etc.

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David Weber

David Weber

Prof. Weber joined the Creighton University School of Law faculty in 2008. He graduated with his J.D. from the University of Minnesota, magna cum laude, where he was co-editor-in-chief of what is now the Minnesota Journal of International Law. He is a member of Order of the Coif.

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