Senator Tommy Tuberville: NIL allows athletes to be ‘exploited,’ Congress must act

By Mike Cason

UNITED STATES – MAY 26: Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., attends the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the reappointment of Army Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli to the grade of general and to be Commander, United States European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in Hart Building on Thursday, May 26, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville has again criticized the NCAA for what he says is a failure to establish guidelines for college sports in a new era of athletes earning money by promoting their name, image, and likeness.

“The NCAA’s lack of leadership has created an environment where student-athletes can be exploited, and wealthy boosters can be empowered. That has to stop,” Tuberville said Wednesday morning according to a report on WHNT.

Tuberville, former head football coach at Auburn, Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Cincinnati, announced last week he is working with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin on legislation to provide guidance on NIL. Tuberville’s latest comments follow a letter he and Manchin wrote to Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey expressing the same concerns.

“Because of the NCAA’s lack of meaningful leadership and clarity, it has become increasingly apparent that the federal government will have to act,” Tuberville said.

Tuberville told Sports Illustrated that he has spoken to coaches about the issue, including University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, a West Virginia native, lifelong friend of Manchin, and longtime friend and competitor with Tuberville.

“In short, we are rapidly accelerating down a path that leads away from the traditional values associated with scholastic athletic competition,” Tuberville and Manchin wrote in the letter to Sankey.