Last Friday, White House spokesman Judd Deere stated, “the White House wants to make sure NCAA student athletes are treated fairly without harming the integrity of college sports...Administration officials are in the process of learning more about these issues, as well as studying if it would be appropriate for the federal government to become involved with policy solutions.”
This statement comes on the heels of President Trump's impeachment acquittal in the U.S. Senate. How could these two things possibly be related?
In December 2019, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) formed a bipartisan working group to discuss NCAA athletes' rights and compensation after California passed the Fair Pay to Play Act. Five days ago, Romney cast a historic vote as the only Senator in American history to vote to impeach a president from his own party. Who was listening? Romney's speech is now well-known, but only four Senators were on the floor to hear it: Republican Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Democrats Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, and Chris Murphy. Murphy's emotional reaction to Romney's speech was accompanied by his own comment, "That speech will stand for centuries." Time will tell if the Murphy/Romney working group will continue and whether federal legislation will beat the 28 current states proposing NIL laws to the legislative finish line or seek preemption.