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Thune, NCAA president talk college athlete pay in South Dakota forum

U.S. Senator John Thune and NCAA President Charlie Baker

U.S. Sen. John Thune said the federal government should create laws standardizing how college athletes can be paid.

He made the comments this week at a Sioux Falls forum discussing NIL rules with NCAA president Charlie Baker.

NIL refers to the name, image, and likeness of a player. NCAA student-athletes are eligible to get paid thanks to recent NIL rule changes. Thune said student-athletes and their families deserve federal protection.

He said universal federal NIL rules would prevent individual states from creating laws that benefit their colleges only.

The congressional engagement listening session was hosted by Northern Sun Intercollege Conference and Augustana University. Hundreds of student-athletes from Augustana and the University of Sioux Falls were in attendance.

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.