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Congressmen Russell Fry (SC-07) and Barry Moore (AL-02) Introduce the Protect the Benefits for Athletes and Limit Liability (BALL) Act

Congressmen Russell Fry (SC-07) and Barry Moore (AL-02) Introduce the Protect the Benefits for Athletes and Limit Liability (BALL) Act


Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Russell Fry (SC-07) and Congressman Barry Moore (AL-02) introduced the Protect the Benefits for Athletes and Limit Liability (Protect the BALL) Act. This legislation addresses the onslaught of litigation universities and conferences face relating to student-athletes' ability to receive compensation based on their name, image, and likeness (NIL). This language provides a legal safe harbor for universities, conferences, and the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) to allow them to provide new benefits for student-athletes, establish and enforce rules, and comply with the law without the constant risk of costly litigation.


Student-athletes deserve compensation for the use of their NIL. The Protect the BALL Act is intended to accompany broader legislation establishing a national framework that secures student-athletes’ right to receive compensation and sets a federal standard with guardrails in place.


“NIL rules are ever-changing, heavily litigated, and essentially unenforceable — causing confusion and chaos for everyone involved,” said Congressman Russell Fry“We must establish a liability shield on the national level to protect schools, student-athletes, and conferences as they navigate this new set of circumstances. This legislation is an integral component of saving college sports as we know it.”


“The Protect the BALL Act preserves the opportunity for more than 500,000 NCAA student-athletes to compete and protects universities from constant litigation in the NIL era,” said Congressman Barry Moore. “I am grateful to Congressman Fry for working with me on this legislation that allows universities to freely work toward new benefits for their athletes.”


“It is imperative we reach a uniform standard of rules around competition soon and I’m really pleased to see that our congressional engagement efforts are being heard and action is being taken. This legislation is a great example addressing the requests of DI SAAC and other student-athletes to level the playing field. We look forward to what comes next and how DI SAAC can continue to play a role.”  — Morgyn Wynne, Oklahoma State University Former Student-Athlete (Softball), Division I National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Co-Chair


“As a Division II student-athlete and chair of DII National SAAC, I have been able to grow as a student, athlete, and individual. This unique opportunity to be stretched academically, athletically, and professionally is something only offered by college athletics. Future college athletes should be able to experience the same growth and development and this legislation is an important piece in that. Creating and enforcing national rules around collegiate athletics safeguards student-athletes so their focus can remain on obtaining their degree and playing the sport they love.” — Dani Mabry, Rockhurst University Student-Athlete (Women’s Lacrosse) and Graduate Student, Division II National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Chair


“As the chair of Division III National SAAC, this legislation aligns with our committee's beliefs. This is a step in the right direction to ensure the necessary safeguards to help protect and level the playing field of Division III athletics. Division III athletics is an all-encompassing student-athlete experience that is enhanced by FAFSA funding. This bill helps foster and create needed protections for college sports to help set a uniform set of rules that stay consistent state-to-state. I urge you to support this bill to further sustain the state of college athletics." — Jack Langan, Cornell College Student-Athlete (Baseball), Division III National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Chair


“Intercollegiate athletics needs safe harbor to enforce uniform rules and offer additional benefits regarding issues pertaining to NIL. We also need a broader framework of NIL legislation that will allow all NCAA schools to compete using the same guidelines and policies. While the landscape is changing, we are grateful for Congressman Fry’s efforts to allow us to continue with our mission of acting in the best interests of student-athletes.” — The University of South Carolina President Michael Amiridis


“We appreciate the willingness of Congressman Fry to lead the development of a stand-alone bill to address the legal liability issues involving NIL. We support our student-athletes in the NIL space. We want to be intimately involved to help them, to assist them to make great decisions for themselves not only in current student-athletes but for their future.” — The University of South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner


“We are extremely grateful to Congressman Fry and his willingness to introduce legislation that provides institutions with the legal protections we need in the ever-changing name, image, and likeness landscape. Addressing safe harbor in this manner will allow us to provide our student-athletes with the support they need to navigate this complex issue.” — Clemson University Director of Athletics Graham Neff


“While the ground continues to shift beneath our feet daily with regard to NIL, the attention from Congressman Russell Fry to this issue is critically important and much appreciated. The success of our student-athletes is paramount and this proposed legislation will provide us another tool to better navigate current and future challenges within this space.” — Coastal Carolina University President Michael Benson


“The NIL space remains volatile and challenging for institutions and student-athletes. We are grateful that Congressman Fry has recognized the need to stabilize this climate by introducing productive legislation. This effort will provide the legal clarity necessary to support our student-athletes and help make NIL a prosperous part of their experience.” — Coastal Carolina University Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Matt Hogue




Due to current litigation, the NCAA cannot enforce its own rules relating to student-athletes’ ability to receive compensation based on NIL. Whenever the NCAA or conferences change their rules to provide student-athletes with more benefits, they are hit with costly litigation. The endless onslaught of litigation puts at risk not only fair play and effective oversight and governance, but also the opportunities and benefits available to student-athletes, as billions in damages threaten institutions’ ability to fund athletic programs. Universities need limited liability protection to allow the system of college athletics to evolve, including by offering student-athletes new benefits, while also maintaining the opportunities afforded to student-athletes to compete at a national level. 


Limited liability protection will facilitate additional benefits for student-athletes and allow conferences, universities, and the NCAA to focus time and resources on taking action to strengthen academic support, health and safety protocols, mental health resources, and other programs that benefit student-athletes.


The Protect the BALL Act will preserve the opportunity to compete in college athletics for more than 500,000 NCAA student-athletes that compete nationwide and pave the way for stronger benefits for these athletes. The safe harbor applies to the adoption and enforcement of rules governing student-athletes’ compensation and benefits, including enforcement actions that restrict athletes’ eligibility due to a violation, and rules adopted in compliance with federal law. 


Read the full text of the legislation here


Congressman Fry serves on the House Judiciary Committee, the House Oversight Committee, and the Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. He also serves as the Republican freshman class president. To stay up to date with Congressman Fry and his work for the Seventh District, follow his official FacebookInstagram, and Twitter pages and visit his website at