Alabama coach Nick Saban is among a group of SEC coaches and administrators set to visit with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., next week. The convoy is expected to vouch for federal regulation regarding name, image and likeness (NIL) compensation among college athletes, the AP reports. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey will join Saban at the forefront of the group that includes university presidents, athletic directors and lobbyists.
An SEC-hosted reception for lawmakers and congressional staffers is planned for June 7 before the SEC contingent meet individually with congressional members from states within the conference's footprint on June 8. The visit will mark the latest effort by leaders in the college sports landscape to universally regulate NIL realm.
Speaking earlier in the week at 2023 SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Florida, Saban told reporters that the patchwork of current laws governing NIL on a state-by-state basis are not beneficial for college football.
"If it's going to be the same for everyone, I think that's better than what we have now," Saban said. "Because what we have now is we have some states and some schools in some states that are investing a lot more money in terms of managing their roster than others."
Saban went as far as suggesting that an "NFL model" in which players are made employeesto the inequity of the current situation.
"I have no problem [with players becoming employees]," Saban said. "I mean, unionize it. Make it like the NFL."
Saban, 71, is entering his 17th season as Alabama's coach in 2023. He has won seven national championships, including six with the Crimson Tide.