Ted Cruz says there’s a 50-50 chance of Congress passing college sports legislation this year

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Ted Cruz said Tuesday there is ’s a 50-50 chance of Congress passing legislation that would provide antitrust protection and regulation to college athletics in the U.S. by the end of the year.

Cruz lowered his previous estimate of 60-40 of a bill getting through before the election in November, saying he and his counterparts are running out of time. The Republican from Texas believes something will eventually get done to standardize how athletes can be compensated for their names, images and likenesses and to give the NCAA and college conferences the ability to govern college sports without the constant threat of lawsuits and state laws undercutting their authority.

His comments came after Cruz oversaw a roundtable discussion on the topic, highlighted by with former Alabama football coach Nick Saban, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne and Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips.

Current women’s college basketball player Haley Cavinder and sister Hanna, a former player, NIL attorney Darren Heitner and Collective Association president Russell White also took part in the panel, which was joined by several other senators.

U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, addresses supporters during an election night gathering, Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

It happened concurrently with a House hearing about students and labor regulations going on not far away — and about week after Dartmouth men’s basketball players voted to join a union.

Work has been ongoing on Capitol Hill for many years to figure out a solution for what Cruz called the current state of the “Wild West” within the NCAA. Cruz, who last summer introduced draft legislation to tackle the problems, prefers empowering the NCAA to oversee the landscape rather than a new governmental or quasi-governmental agency.


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