Congress Has Sports Issue To Tackle This Fall


College sports, gambling and the Oakland Athletics franchise could get a  long look.

Congress will start the fall session soon and two items will concern sports and there could be a third issue coming from the California delegation about the impending move of Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics franchise to Las Vegas. But the top sports issue will be what to do with the problem of college sports and student-athletes being able to cut marketing deals which the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s boss Charlie Baker doesn’t like. The problem the college people claim is that there is a hodgepodge of state laws that governing name, image and likeness deals and in some states, a student-athlete can make more money selling his face than other states and that would, according to the NCAA gives schools certain advantages in recruitment and that’s not fair. The NCAA wants federal help to regulate the name, image and likeness problem. The NCAA and various college people are begging Congress to do something or the college football industry will be ruined.

Congress may also be looking into illegal sports gambling and whether sports leagues such as the National Football League are doing enough to crackdown on illegal sports gambling. The NFL responded with a statement putting the onus on Congress. “Congress and the federal government have a unique role to play in bringing enforcement actions against illegal operators”. Then there is the saga of the Oakland Athletics franchise. John Fisher still has to complete his lease in Oakland and that will happen following the 2024 season then he is free to move his business elsewhere. Some of the California delegation might decide to call MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred or Fisher to the Hill and ask whether Fisher bargained in good faith with Oakland officials in stadium negotiations and possibly talk about revoking MLB’s antitrust exemption. Congress can oversee the sports business industry.

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FILE – The College Football Playoff logo (AP Photo/Roger Steinman, File)