NCAA, allies spend nearly $1M on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON >> As Congress considers whether to allow college athletes to receive endorsement money, the NCAA and its allies spent nearly $1 million last year lobbying lawmakers to shape any reforms to the organization’s liking.
The NCAA last fall said it would allow athletes to
“benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness” and is crafting rules to put in place for its 1,100 member schools in coming months. But the organization has turned to Congress to step in as more and more states follow the lead of California, where a law set to take effect in 2023 clears the way for athletes to earn endorsement money.
Organizations representing athletes have no paid lobbyists, leading to concern among some reform advocates that the deep-pocketed NCAA is shaping the debate. The NCAA’s pressure campaign comes as the Senate prepares for a committee hearing Tuesday on player compensation.
“The NCAA is going to fight for the status quo,” said Ramogi Huma, executive director of the National College Players Association.
“The NCAA is already at a position of power,” Walker said. “Otherwise you would have seen progress . ... There’s been little to nothing done in this arena, and had the student-athlete had proper representation on the federal level, we’d be much further down this path than we are.”