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National NIL Bill Would Help Provide Much-Needed Clarity for College Athletics

With states passing their own versions of name, image and likeness bills across the country, some uniformity would be good for college football.

With states passing their own versions of name, image and likeness bills across the country, some uniformity would be good for college football.

And last week on Capital Hill, the United States Senate held a hearing that may very well be the first steps to accomplishing a national standard for amateur athlete NIL compensation. 

According to Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger, the effort is even enjoying something few national issues get these days - bipartisan support. 

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), the chair of the Senate Commerce subcommittee specifically overseeing NIL, is drafting legislation with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), both of them also working with Gonzalez and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo). Wicker is working on legislation, too. 

Dozens of states have already passed name, image and likeness compensation bills, a step most believe is long overdue for college football, but that also means a college athlete could potentially get compensated differently in Florida than Texas for example. 

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While the country is in the middle of a pandemic and in an election year, there are certainly other issues on the minds of those in congress, but it's certainly something they are taking seriously.  

Many point to Florida's NIL law, which is set to move forward next year, as a potential hard deadline for congress to get something done. 

"I wonder if in the highly charged atmosphere we have between now and the election, with as many convention breaks and the appropriation bills that have to pass, if we could get to it—I just don't think we could," Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) tells SI. "After the election, I think we'll see some urgency to go ahead and get something done on a bipartisan basis. It shouldn't be a right vs. left issue. With the 2021 effective date approaching in some states, we'll need to act fast."

While nearly every athlete in the country would get a chance to benefit from having the right to profit off their own name, many believe it would be an even bigger boon to the University of Texas than other places. 

The Forty Acres is located in the largest city in America without a professional sports franchise from one of the major four leagues (MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA). It is also smack-dab in the middle of the second-most populous state in the country and home to the only FBS program with its own ESPN-affiliated network at its disposal.