Commission OKs step toward crafting athlete-compensation law

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The commission that promotes uniformity among state laws took another step toward crafting legislation allowing compensation for college athletes.

A study committee recommended Tuesday that the Uniform Law Commission form a drafting committee to write legislation for states to adopt governing athletes’ ability to profit for use of their names, images and likenesses (NIL).

Committee chairman and Idaho attorney Dale G. Higer said the recommendation requires additional commission approval before the drafting committee is formed. Its first meeting would be set for this fall in a process that would last one to, more likely, two years.

The NCAA is going forward with allowing athletes to profit through NIL deals with third parties. Regulations are being developed on an issue that has raised concerns about schools’ ability to monitor for rule compliance and the potential effect on non-revenue sports programs.

The NCAA and Power Five conference commissioners also want Congress to create a federal law ahead of varied state-level versions being proposed so schools operate under the same rules. California and Colorado have laws taking effect in 2023, while Florida’s bill awaiting Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature would take effect July 2021.