President Biden joins discussion on creating a ‘better environment’ for college athletes



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According to USA TODAY’s Berkowitz & Collins, President Joe Biden yesterday “participated in a roundtable discussion with approximately 40 former college football players” regarding issues surrounding “the treatment and benefits that college sports programs provide to their players.” He said he participated for “minutes.” Keith Marshall said he went into the meeting wondering if it was a PR stunt, but that the White House was “obviously interested in joining the conversation” regarding the ongoing college sports issue and “how to do it.” I came back believing that there was a strong interest in the project.” It’s about creating a better environment for college athletes. ” Marshall, co-founder of The Players Lounge, a web platform that provides content from current and former college athletes on NIL opportunities, said Biden and his staff “were not privy to any federal law.” ” he said. Marshall said the conversation “covered safety issues, athletes’ ability to unionize, athletes’ NIL activities and Title IX matters.” Berkowitz & Collins noted that in addition to Marshall, Andrew Luck, Desmond Howard, Ryan Clark, Rod Gilmore and Jordan Meacham are former athletes invited. Howard, Clark and Gilmore will be commentators for ESPN, and Meacham is involved with the College Football Players Association, an “athlete advocacy group.” ESPN anchor Kevin Negundy was also “invited.” “The list of invitees did not include any female athletes and did not include any current college athletes.”USA TODAY, 11/8).

healthy conversation: SI’s Richard Johnson wrote that Biden was “originally scheduled to stop by during the roundtable,” but ended up spending “about an hour with the players.” After engaging them in a roundtable, Biden “took them on a 20-30 minute tour of the White House, including the Oval Office.” Biden “did not advocate specific positions on hot-button issues such as NIL and whether athletes should be classified as employees and receive regular pay.” But those in attendance said it was “clear that he supports the players and their rights.” National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard said the roundtable was “an opportunity to learn about pressing issues in college athletics.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said most of the remarks were made “behind closed doors”, but the meeting was “open to the press for a short period”. Meacham said much of the focus, both at the roundtable itself and with Biden, is “centered on the health and safety of athletes and ensuring the environment surrounding their athletic activities is supported during and after their athletic careers.” ” he said. Johnson said NIL and player compensation were also “discussed.” Possible avenues for revenue sharing were “discussed at a basic level with the President” and his stance was “described by Meacham as ‘cooperative’”. “I did not discuss the possibility of unionizing athletes or having athletes become school employees in detail with Mr. Biden.”SI, 11/8).

SBJ Morning Buzz Cast: SBJ’s Abe Madcoure details the White House meeting on today’s Buzzcast (4:43-5:33).

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