Former Texas Tech Football coach Tommy Tuberville is in a different arena now. He's left coaching behind, and since January has been a U.S. Senator representing Alabama.
Earlier this week, TMZ Sports caught up with Tuberville at Reagan National Airport where he talked about the proposed "Name, Image, Likeness" (NIL) compensation that could be coming soon to college athletes across the country.
Senator Tuberville said in part to TMZ: "Players are already getting paid. You've got to remember that. They're getting their scholarship.""Most of them are getting $600, $700, $800 cash a month for what we call cost of attendance. And, so, nobody’s going hungry as a college athlete," Tuberville added. "Men and women. It should always be about education. If we get away from that, now we're gonna lose it (college sports). This is not a minor league farm system.... At the end of the day, it should be about education."Tuberville said he's against NIL compensation and legislation standardizing NIL across the U.S. could be considered in Congress later this year. When asked about the potential expansion of the NCAA Division I college football playoffs, Tuberville said: "Well, I always told recruits that this is the only time in your life that you'll have two full-time jobs. Going to school like a normal student, getting good grades, going to class, studying, that's full-time. And then you throw in on top of that, another full-time job of playing college sports. It is hard, it's time-demanding, it's difficult, it makes grown men and grown women out of people that play it. They learn a lot."Tuberville also said he liked to see Alabama coach Nick Saban's recent contract extension. The head coach of the Crimson Tide is now signed through the 2028 season. The Tuscaloosa News reported that over the next eight seasons, Saban's compensation is expected to move from over $8 million per season to over $10 million per season:
Saban's annual base salary of $275,000 and talent fee (currently at $8.425 million) will increase annually in unspecified amounts, with a contract completion bonus of $800,000 payable at the end of the 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025 contract years.
At some point in the term of the new contract provisions, Saban will become the first college coach to break the $10 million mark in annual, recurring compensation.
The NCAA, on their website, sums up Name, Image, Likeness as:
The term has taken on new meaning amid the national conversation. Most simply, “name, image and likeness” are three elements that make up a legal concept known as “right of publicity.”
Right of publicity involves those situations where permission is required of a person to use their name, image or likeness. For example, no permission is required for a newspaper to publish a photo of an athlete playing in a game. The legal copyright would belong to the photographer, not the person pictured.
Tuberville was elected Alabama's junior U.S. Senator in November 2020. He was the head coach for Texas Tech Football for three seasons (2010-2012), with lackluster results. In three seasons at Texas Tech, Tuberville compiled a record of (20-17, 9-17) with two bowl game appearances.
Tuberville also was the head coach at Auburn from 1999-2008 and at Cincinnati from 2013-2016.
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