Name, image and likeness supporters may have a potential new advocate: the Trump administration. A White House spokesman told CBS Sports this week the Trump administration is evaluating whether "it would be appropriate for the federal government to become involved with policy solutions" regarding the fair treatment of college athletes.
CBS Sports sought comment from the administration after two sources said there had been at least one meeting between the Trump White House and individuals involved in developing name, image and likeness rights for athletes.
"The White House wants to make sure NCAA student-athletes are treated fairly without harming the integrity of college sports," said Judd Deere, White House deputy press secretary, when asked about that meeting. "Administration officials are in the process of learning about these issues, as well studying if it would be appropriate for the federal government to become involved with policy solutions."
Deere, who is also special assistant to the President, said he would not comment further.
"It's very real," said a source familiar with the situation regarding the interest between the two parties.
All of this comes at a time when the NCAA seems to be seeking federal intervention in figuring out how to implement name, image and likeness rights. California has passed a law that will take effect in 2023. Currently, at least 16 other states are developing bills. Florida's law may be the most advanced at this point. It is scheduled to be ratified in April and take effect July 1.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said there could be "chaos" if Florida enacts the law at the same time the NCAA is still figuring out its path on name, image and likeness.
"Florida's in the SEC. What does that mean to the other SEC schools [if Florida athletes have these rights]?" Smith asked recently.
The California bill has a more liberalized compensation component than the Florida bill.
"If you have seven states with different laws and those states are operating within those laws because they have to, I don't know what that means," Smith added.