SEC, Pac-12 Commissioners to Meet with U.S. Senators to Discuss NIL Policies

Adam WellsMay 5, 2022

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 13: A detail view of an SEC logo before the start of a game between the Florida Gators and the Samford Bulldogs at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images

Leaders from the SEC and Pac-12 will meet with United States senators to discuss name, image and likeness policies. 

Per ESPN's Heather Dinich and Adam Rittenberg, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and Pac-12 counterpart George Kliavkoff are scheduled to be in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to meet with Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell (Washington) and Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee). 

"I have been invited to meetings with several senators tomorrow to discuss the issues we're seeing with name, image and likeness, and with the existential threat of our student-athletes being deemed to be employees," Kliavkoff told Dinich and Rittenberg.

Thursday's meeting comes amid recent calls from leaders throughout the NCAA, including president Mark Emmert, for federal legislation related to NIL policies. 

Speaking to reporters at the men's Final Four in March, Emmert said the different NIL laws in different states makes it difficult to adopt a single policy across the NCAA. 

"We need to work with Congress to create one federal landscape," he said. "We've had a variety of legal actions in the courts with all of that. That supersedes the board's ability ... We have got to have Congress find a single legal model by which NIL and other relationships with student-athletes can be regulated. That's going to be a big task."

Adam Papas of NEXT Sports Agency, who represents Miami basketball star Isaiah Wong's NIL deals, told ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Jeff Borzello in late April his client would enter the transfer portal if his compensation wasn't increased. 

Wong later told Givony and Borzello he won't enter the transfer portal after meeting with LifeWallet CEO John Ruiz, who has funded several NIL deals to Miami athletes, to discuss their differences. 

Ruiz tweeted his agreement with Wong will remain the same but added he will work to help him get new NIL deals from other sources. 

Jordan Addison, the 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner as the best wide receiver in the nation, entered the transfer portal on Tuesday after spending the past two seasons at Pittsburgh.

Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Pitt believes USC tampered with Addison by contacting him before he was officially in the portal. He is reportedly "being offered a multi-million-dollar deal" to play for USC. 

In addition to their meeting with Cantwell and Blackburn, Sankey and Kliavkoff hope to meet with other senators.