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Mitt Romney Is ‘Coming For’ NCAA On Pay To Play

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Add Utah Senator Mitt Romney to the growing list of politicians who support NCAA student-athletes being able to profit off of their name, image and likeness.

“I know there are people who think we can hold this off. We’re not going to make a change here, but the reality is Congress is going to act. We’re coming for you,” Romney said.

The comments came at a roundtable with former Duke and current ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas and Representative Mark Walker (R-NC). Walker is introducing a federal statute that would apply across every state. The statute is called the Student Equity Act. The goal would be to allow college athletes to earn money off of their name, image and likeness.

A unified federal bill would bring all of the individual states and their different ideas together, including the NCAA, to find common ground on this hot topic issue.

When Congress gets involved, usually the NCAA does something to make a change or will work with them on an agreement.


KSL Sports Alex Kirry and Scott Mitchell are of the mind that Congress getting involved will scare the NCAA straight.

“I do think, in all seriousness, this is where this all ends up,” Mitchell said on KSL’s UnRivaled. “Maybe not in Congress but there will be some legal battle. How can you deny people to make money off of their name, there is just no way.

California Got This Rolling

The ‘Fair Pay to Play Act’ that was recently signed into law by California Governor Gavin Nesom will allow student-athletes to earn money off of their name, image and likeness starting in 2023.

The act started a national trend – now multiple states are working on similar legislation.

Utah Has Challenged The NCAA Before

This is not the first time a Utah politician has gotten involved with the NCAA. Former Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff threatened an anti-trust lawsuit against the Bowl Championship Series back in 2009 on the grounds that the group was a monopoly and favored the power conferences.

There never was a lawsuit and the case was eventually suspended, but the threat of the legal action led some to believe is what helped push forward a College Football Playoff.

The Utes were fighting for equal access and pay as the football team made the BCS in 2004 and 2008 but the revenue and access to the BCS was not comparable to the BCS leagues.

While the threat didn’t lead to anything, it did ignite action, according to Mitchell and Kirry.

Tune into KSL UnRivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast. 

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