NCAA president wants a federal athlete compensation bill
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The NCAA president said Wednesday that he wants to work with Congress on a federal athlete compensation bill to avoid dealing with multiple state laws, news reports said. 

NCAA President Mark Emmert said while at a Sports Business Journal forum that it is “highly probable” that federal legislation will determine the national guidelines for how college athletes will be compensated for their names, images and likeness, ESPN reported

Emmert told the audience that he has been meeting with lawmakers and university officials to discuss the future of college athlete compensation. 

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Sens. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyCongress barrels toward debt cliff End the practice of hitting children in public schools Public option fades with little outcry from progressives MORE (D-Conn.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOvernight Defense: Senate panel delays Iraq war powers repeal | Study IDs Fort Hood as least-safe base for female soldiers | Pentagon loosens some COVID-19 restrictions Senate panel delays war authorization repeal after GOP push Eliminate family and child poverty: Richard Nixon may help in today's debate MORE (R-Utah) formed a bipartisan congressional working group to look into how paying college athletes could be possible. The NCAA also created a group to analyze the problem, set to have its recommendations put in place in January 2021.

These conversations follow the passage of a California law allowing college athletes to profit from endorsement deals and autograph signings set to go into effect in 2023. At least nine states have also introduced legislation for compensating college athletes scheduled to go into effect in 2020 or 2021, USA Today reported.

Emmert said navigating multiple state laws would complicate the process. 

“There’s an interest in providing support because some of these issues can’t be really resolved without congressional action,” Emmert said, according to USA Today. “You can’t have 26 or 30 different state laws so you need something at a federal level that becomes an umbrella that organizes all of that.”

The president predicted he will spend most of his time attempting to figure out how the NCAA and its member schools can give athletes compensation without making them employees, according to USA Today.