Future of College Sports: Reimagining Athletes’ Rights

February 19, 2021  • Sports & Society Program

College sports’ future faces a pivotal year in 2021, as the U.S. Senate turns Democratic, the Supreme Court hears a case on college athlete compensation, and some states start allowing athletes to be paid for use of their name, image and likeness (NIL). The most expansive reform effort is the College Athletes Bill of Rights, introduced last December by four Democratic senators to protect and grow athlete rights.

The proposal goes beyond outside endorsement deals for athletes and also includes group licensing, revenue sharing and medical care after athletes leave school. The proposed bill would go farther than the desires of many Republicans and NCAA members as the clock ticks to July 1, when Florida’s bipartisan NIL law goes into effect that would create different rules for different states.

What if Congress adopted the College Athletes Bill of Rights, or some elements of the proposal? What would that mean for the participants and the games that fans love to watch?

Speakers for this virtual event:

Future of Sports is returning in 2021 as a virtual, bimonthly conversation series by the Sports & Society Program that helps stakeholders think through key questions shaping the future of our games, the sports industry and its impact on society. Past events examined the future of football, college athlete pay, government’s role in college athlete pay, sports betting, athlete activism, coaching, and the U.S. Olympic movement. Contact Sports & Society Program Editorial Director Jon Solomon at with questions or inquiries.

Thank you to Axios Sports for its support as media partner of the Future of Sports series.