We've written previously on how coming name, image and likeness (NIL) legislation is a grass fire the NCAA can't contain. After years and years of sitting on their hands, the schools forever lost control of the issue when states started writing their own laws, some of which come on the books as soon as next summer.
Though the NCAA has announced it its intent to move forward with its own plan, there's still nothing stopping a state legislature from passing a law that goes beyond what the NCAA allows, thereby creating an environment where Florida can offer something Georgia cannot.
For a national organization, this is a nightmare scenario.
In a letter dated May 23 and addressed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the commissioners of the Power 5 conferences are asking Congress to step in.
"We ask Congress to act so there will be a uniform national standard that will preempt state NIL laws, appropriately protect student-athletes and provide clear rules governing NIL licensing," the five commissioners wrote.
"In the absence of federal NIL legislation," the letter continues, "we expect most if not all states to pass their own disparate NIL laws in early 2021, to take effect in the summer of 2021, if not sooner. So, time is of the essence."
Of note, more than 40 million Americans have lost their jobs and 100,000 have died amid a global pandemic, and election season is six months away. So this might not be at the tippy top of Congress's to-do list.
Read the full letter below, first reported by Stadium's Brett McMurphy.
To be clear, this is a desperation heave from the most powerful people in college sports. Even if Congress agrees to take up the issue -- and that's far from a given -- there's no guarantee they'll rule in a way commissioners and the college presidents they work for would like them to.
Taking a whack at the NCAA piñata when it's down has become a winning political issue in a time where those are few and far between, and politicians of both parties want a turn.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.