The College Football Playoff looks set to expand in the near future. The four-team event could soon become a 12-team tournament, which has drawn mixed reactions among college football fans.
Some like the idea. Others hate him.
Among the latter category are two Senators from Connecticut who are concerned about whether the NCAA has the best interests of the athletes in mind or whether the governing body is simply seeking “another seizure of money.”
“The only guaranteed result of an expanded playoff field and a longer season is more league profit that players won’t see a dime of – it’s just another cash grab,” Richard said. Blumenthal, D-Conn. in a statement to USA Today Sports. “I doubt that the fact that this increases the risk of injury to players was even mentioned.”
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Blumenthal was backed by his counterpart, Chris Murphy, D-Conn, who said the athletes had no say in the decision.
“This is another example of great college athletic leaders and administrators making decisions simply to increase their own income, while continuing to put the needs and health of college athletes on the back burner,” said Murphy. “It’s crazy that the athletes who create the product don’t have a say in such an important decision, and won’t get any of the millions of profits that will be created by additional games.
“This is exactly why I introduced legislation that would help these athletes organize and bargain collectively for themselves.”
Currently, the US Senate Commerce Committee is trying to craft a law that would give college athletes a chance to take advantage of their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). This includes athletes who can sign sponsorship deals, sign autographs for a fee, and earn money on various social media platforms, like YouTube.
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So it’s no surprise that Blumenthal, who chairs the committee, and Murphy opposed this kind of playoff expansion. They want to ensure that athletes are not exploited, especially given inconsistent safety guidelines and the lack of health coverage enjoyed by student-athletes.
Still, the opinions of these senators are unlikely to have an impact on the potential expansion of college football playoffs. What they can do is continue to debate issues involving the NCAA as they seek to create an NIL law for athletes and, potentially, pursue other laws designed to benefit student-athletes.