U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks to members of the press on Capitol Hill on Sept. 13, 2023. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — Sitting cross-legged in his Texas boots, Ted Cruz gazed out at the more than 75 FBS athletic directors before him while contemplating an answer to the question just asked: What are the odds that a college athletic bill governing name, image and likeness (NIL) passes Congress soon?
Eight seconds of silence passed.
“I think the odds are 60-40 we get it done,” Cruz, the Republican senator from Texas, finally whispered into the microphone.
A full-throated applause erupted from his audience. And then some 15 minutes later, in a rebuttal fitting of the divide in Congress, Cruz’s Democratic counterpart in the U.S. Senate sent any expectations plummeting.
“The chances are not 60-40,” said Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “They are less than 50-50 that Congress does something comprehensive in the short term.”
The discord among congressional lawmakers played out here Tuesday in front of some of the leading administrators in college sports. Over the course of 90 minutes, three U.S. senators and a Congresswoman separately delivered varying degrees of opinions and prognostications on the passage of college athlete legislation.
Amidst an urgent push from the NCAA and college leaders for a federal bill, lawmakers offered a mixed bag during an annual gathering of college officials with LEAD1, an organization representing a majority of FBS athletic directors.
From a raised stage in a room at a downtown D.C. hotel, the dichotomy was not so surprising from members of a split or, some might say, fractured U.S. Senate. There was optimism and pessimism. There were compromises and disagreements.
One senator, Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia, acknowledged that he wants to roll back new NCAA rules to “put the genie back” in the bottle, preserve a more amateur model and prevent athletes from becoming employees.
Another, Murphy, told…
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Publish date : 2023-09-19 20:59:02
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