Federal Name, Image and Likeness Bill Regarding College Athletes Beginning to Taking Form

Christopher Walsh

It's ironic that EA Sports' Madden NFL 21 started to release its player ratings for this year's game, set to be released Aug. 28, this week.

Rookie quarterbacks were the first to be announced. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who won the Heisman Trophy, earned a 76 rating, just ahead of former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (73) with the Dolphins, and Green Bay's Jordan Love (71).

On  Friday morning, it revealed that Henry Ruggs III of the Las Vegas Raiders is the highest-rated rookie receiver (76) and second-faster overall player.

Ruggs received a Madden speed rating of 98. Only one player had a faster speed rating in last year's version of the popular video game. Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill.

Meanwhile, largely overshadowed by other developments this week was how the conversation about compensation for college athletes made its way to Congress. 

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a two-hour meeting on the issue.  Committee chairman Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., told Sports Illustrated that he expects a bipartisan bill will begin moving soon and could arrive on the floor of the U.S. Senate this winter.

Congress's involvement with the NCAA has never been greater—and the biggest thing on the agenda is athlete compensation. The next steps are coming into focus, but but in all likelihood any potential bill won't be voted on before the next presidential election.

But where does the oft-discussed name, image, and likeness bill stand now? Sports Illustrated host Robin Lundberg discussed the latest with SI's Ross Dellenger and Nathanael Gabler of The Grove, and what steps could be taken when it comes to a reform for college sports.

As for Madden, the game will release a slate of player ratings all next week. Players in the "99 Club" will be revealed on ESPN's morning program Get Up as well as NFL Live and SportsCenter.

It's going to be a while before we potentially see another college version. 

College Football

The Big Ten’s jarring announcement Thursday to play only conference games this fall was like a punch to the gut of most college football fans, but the group it'll likely impact the most are the Group of Five schools. 

The potential for the Power Five to play only conference-only schedules would come at a steep price. 

“It’s earlier than I had anticipated,” MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “We were very anxious to pursue a full season if at all possible. The non-conference and conference were important to us.”

Alabama has Georgia State, Nick Saban's alma mater Kent State, and UT-Martin on its schedule. The payout those schools are counting on go toward paying a significant chuck of their athlete budget. Kent State is slated to get $1,75 million, and combined with games against Kentucky and Penn State is due to make $5 million, 17 percent of its budget. 

SI's Ross Dellenger has the story about how across the country, Group of Five administrators are bracing for the budget hole that will be left without their big-money road games.

Meanwhile, Pat Forde wrote about how the 2020 college football season deconstruction has begun

Did you notice?

• Phillip Blanks was a wide receiver at Saddleback College in California and played at Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan.

He also served in the United States Marines Corps for four years.

All of that experience paid off in the ultimate way on July 3 when Banks caught a three-year-old boy who was thrown out of a burning apartment building in Phoenix.

 College football odds on will the season be pushed until spring 2021, from BetOnline (www.BetOnline.ag). Note: These were posted before the Big Ten's announcement to play conference-only games this season.

Will FBS season be Postponed until Spring 2021? Yes even (1/1); No -140 (5/7)

Will any FBS game be cancelled or postponed? Yes -800 (1/8); No +425 (17/4)

First FBS conference to postpone fall football: Pac-12 8/5; Big 12 11/4; ACC 3/1; Big Ten 13/4; SEC 5/1 

 What are BYU's options with conference-only schedules in 2020?

 Dana White explains the deal with UFC’s Fight Island.

• The MLB Umpires Association released a statement distancing itself from Joe West’s coronavirus comments.

The lighter side

• The NBA and Disney have worked out an agreement to give players special access to some park attractions.

 Joel Embiid has been critical of the NBA’s bubble plan, so this is how he showed up for the Sixers’ flight: 

• A lot of us can relate:

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Comments (1)
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Joey Blackwell
Joey Blackwell


I just want to see Alabama in a video game again.

All Things Bama