As we inch closer to the summer solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere (the first day of summer for those of you who were asleep in science class), the heat is not rising only on the thermometer, but also in the halls of Congress, where the push for federal name, image and likeness (NIL) legislation forges ahead of the July 1 “cliff” — when at least six of the states' own NIL legislation (including the latest, and perhaps most significant entrant, Texas) will come into effect, and the world of collegiate athletics will be turned upside down.

With that backdrop, the Senate Commerce Committee recently convened for its second NIL hearing in as many weeks — this time, commendably giving current and former athletes, and the father of Jordan McNair (a University of Maryland football player who tragically died of heat stroke during a team practice in 2015) an opportunity to speak for themselves. Although there remains general bipartisan consensus on the need for NIL legislation, loftier — but no less important — aims of mandating the provision of health care and other benefits to collegiate athletes along with the NIL legislation, may spoil the brew in an oft-deadlocked Congress. Still, various states and universities including my alma mater (ON, WISCONSIN!), are preparing as if NIL rights are a foregone conclusion. Buckle up, folks, this situation looks like it will continue to develop over the next few days and come down to the wire.

In the meantime, to help pass the time, here are some of the other stories I am spotlighting this week:

  • Those looking for a last minute Father's Day gift (you can do much better than a necktie) may be shopping through an unlikely platform — Indeed, as the streaming wars rage on, Netflix is turning to consumer goods and live events (remember those?) as a way of tapping into new revenue.
  • Music Management Company, Primary Wave, leveraged its holdings of the song catalog of the Father of Reggae, Bob Marley (amongst others) to attract significant investment from the latest titan financial firm to add music copyright assets to its portfolio. Fitting because Bob Marley might be the only artist that I would want to be listening to in order to “Feel Alright” about writing a $375 million check.
  • Blue Ivy Carter's dad, Jay-Z, filed a lawsuit against the photographer for the cover of Jay-Z's 1996 debut studio album, “Reasonable Doubt,” alleging that the photographer has been illegally profiting off of the use of Jay-Z's name and likeness in prints and merchandise. Although you “Can't Knock the Hustle” of the photographer, in spite of First Amendment defenses, he may have some “Regrets” about at least some of the works sold for “Dead Presidents.”

Thanks for reading! Catch you all (and hopefully some newcomers) next week! Until then, have a great Father's Day to all the dads out there.

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