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Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) this week met with coaches and administrators from the University of Alabama and Auburn University as well as the Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference to discuss their advocacy to have Congress establish uniform name, image, and likeness (NIL) rules at the federal level.

“What we have right now is essentially a race to the bottom,” said Britt said. “With every state coming up with their own rules and regulations, what we’re left with is this hodge-podge across the country. We heard from coaches about how challenging it is to work and recruit across jurisdictions in this confusing, rapidly changing environment. What they’re asking for are simply some rules of the road that apply across the board. I want to ensure that student-athletes and fans are able to enjoy the collegiate athletics experience that our families love, from revenue generating sports to our women’s sports and Olympic sports.”

Senator Britt met with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, University of Alabama President Stuart Bell, UA Athletic Director Greg Byrne, UA head football Coach Nick Saban, Auburn University President Chris Roberts, Auburn Athletic Director John Cohen, Auburn head football Coach Hugh Freeze, Auburn men’s basketball Coach Bruce Pearl, and Auburn women’s basketball Coach Johnnie Harris.

Sen. Britt is married to former University of Alabama offensive lineman Wesley Britt, who went on to play for three seasons in the NFL with Tom Brady at the New England Patriots.

In 2019, California became the first state to allow student-athletes to enter into business deals that allow them to profit from the use of their name, image, and likeness. Other states have adopted different combinations of laws and regulations that have resulted in incongruous system across the country. The advocates from the SEC are asking Congress to pass legislation that will instead set a national standard and a level regulatory playing field.

Matt O'Hern

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