Special Edition: TAB Goes to Washington
+ College Athletes' Best Friend in Congress
Presented by Payment Labs - NIL Payouts Done Right
Last week I had the honor of testifying in Congress at the Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Hearing: "NIL Playbook: Proposal to Protect Student Athletes' Dealmaking Rights".
In this issue:
Oral & Written Testimony + TAB Podcast of Q & A with members of Congress
Featured Article: “Meet Rep. Lori Trahan (MA): College athletes’ Best Friend in the House of Representatives”, TAB explains why
College Athletes had four MAJOR wins last week - TAB highlights them
+ Media Reviews of Congressional Testimony
Influencing Congress, and others policy-makers, is a core part of our mission. We are winning.
#BE11EVE #NILforGood #PayTAB
Chase Griffin’s Oral Testimony to Congress
Full Written Testimony with Charts and Graphs HERE
TAB Podcast of Full Testimony & Q&A with members of Congress HERE
Link to Full Hearing HERE
Meet Lori Trahan (MA): College Athletes’ Best Friend in the House of Representatives
By: Griffin Uribe Brown (Syracuse Newhouse School)
Lori Trahan was a college athlete. Before she was elected to the House of Representatives, she became the first in her family to graduate from college, which was in part made possible by a scholarship to play Division 1 volleyball at Georgetown University.
Early in her career, Trahan worked for former Congressman Marty Meehan as a scheduler and worked her way up to become his chief of staff. She also worked in the private sector: working at ChoiceStream and later as CEO of the Concire Leadership Institute, a women-owned firm.
She was first elected to the House of Representatives, as a Democrat representing Massachusetts’s 3rd District, during the 2018 midterm elections. Since then, she has been re-elected twice, in the 2020 and 2022 elections.
In her time in Washington D.C., Trahan has introduced legislation alongside other congress members that support the rights of college athletes including the College Athlete Economic Freedom Act, the Fair Play for Women Act and the College Athlete Right to Organize Act.
The College Athlete Economic Freedom Act was originally introduced by Trahan and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) in 2021, months before the NCAA’s interim NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) policy was announced in July. The legislation would “establish an unrestricted federal right” to athlete’s NIL.
Trahan called the bill the “most pro-athlete piece of legislation in the NIL space” in an interview with Chase Griffin. The bill has been supported by athletes around the country, including Cornell women’s volleyball captain Syndey Moore, who endorsed it and emphasized its benefits in an interview with The Athlete’s Bureau.
Trahan has been involved with many similar bills. The Fair Play for Women Act looks to implement regulations protecting gender equality in K-12 and college athletics, and would hold schools “accountable for Title IX violations.” The College Athlete Right to Organize Act would “establish collective bargaining rights.”
Last week, Trahan and other members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce listened to testimony, including Griffin, during a hearing focused on NIL and college athletics. She called it “remarkable” to hear athletes' stories about what NIL has done for them.
During the hearing, Trahan spoke about her “concerns” about the FAIR College Sports Act, which would in part “establish a committee for intercollegiate athletics.” NCAA President Charlie Baker previously called for government regulation.
Trahan asked about international students and women athletes’ access to NIL, issues she said were “unaddressed” in the bill, and referred to TAB polling data that concluded that college athletes hold negative sentiments or disapprove of congressional involvement in restructuring the regulation of college athletics.
“That should concern each one of us here today. That the very people this committee is seeking to ‘protect’ don't actually trust that we have their best interests at heart,” she said. “And I don’t think that, as drafted, the bill that we’re focusing on today will do much to change that.”
Watch interview Rep. Lori Trahan conducted with Chase Griffin in her office after last week’s NIL hearing.
Seen on The Hill
Four Major Wins for College Athletes Last Week
Athletic Directors are Calling for Athlete Revenue Share: Newly installed Ohio State AD, Ross Bjork, calls for revenue sharing and bargaining with college athletes. $ Quote: “We need to chart a new course for the financial arrangement, the financial agreement between the athlete and the institution,” Bjork said. “We can call that whatever we want, but that's where we're going. Full Video
Department of Justice Joins a Bipartisan Coalition of States Attorney General to challenge NCAA transfer rules on Antitrust Grounds - Department of Justice Release
9th Circuit Judges Deny NCAA’s Interlocutory Appeal in House vs. NCAA Case (it means the case proceeds to trial in January 2025) - Michael McCann, Daniel Libit, Sportico
UNC Athletic Director predicts NCAA President’s athlete compensation proposal will be adopted in message to donors. University of North Carolina Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham - Message to Donors
TAB In the News
The reviews are in….
Washington Post (Jesse Dougherty), “A college QB testified about NIL. He says Congress is missing the point.”
Inside Higher Education, (Katherine Knott), “A lot of the thought leadership in this room has been contained in the echo chamber between Congress, NCAA and the media that’s reporting on all the horror stories of collectives,” Griffin said, adding that 80 percent of deals are between athletes and brands.”
Austin American Statesman (Caleb Yum) UCLA QB, Hutto alumnus Chase Griffin appears as witness at Congressional NIL hearing. “Griffin is the poster boy of NIL, with over 30 brand deals.”
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