NCAA, al­lies spend nearly $1M on Capi­tol Hill

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - SPORTS - By Ben Nuck­ols

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.”

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