Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke will testify to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday as part of a hearing focused on intellectual property rights and name, image and likeness legislation.
Lyke will be joined in the hearing by NCAA president Mark Emmert, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich, National Sports Law Institute executive director Matt Mitten, NFLPA Board of Representatives member George Wrighster, National College Players Association executive directory Ramogi Huma and American Gaming Association president Bill Miller.
The hearing will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, with committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) presiding.
The NCAA has been slowly moving toward providing student athletes the ability to profit from their names, images and likenesses, with an April announcement that its board of governors had approved rule changes to allow such a process to begin, but directed each division to consider appropriate rules changes before moving forward.
The new rules are expected to be announced by January in order to take effect at the start of the 2021-22 school year.
The NCAA’s long avoidance of action of the topic was nullified by several states, beginning with California in November 2019, adopting their own legislation requiring such steps. Similar legislation has been passed or taken up in nearly 30 other states. The California law is not set to take effect until 2023.
“I think there’s trepidation a little bit,” Lyke told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in May. “It’s extremely liberal, some of the concepts. I think we absolutely need to modernize and consider other options for our student-athletes in the future. I think that there’s quite a bit of concern over the extent to which some of these concepts went.”