Play ‘BALL’ – NIL Legislation Introduced to Limit Liability on Institutions

May 17, 2024

By Caleb Diaz

The Protect the Benefits for Athletes and Limit Liability (BALL) Act was introduced into the House of Representatives on May 8, 2024, by representatives Barry Moore (R-AL) and Russell Fry (R-SC), and if passed, the legislation would establish specific limits on the liability of certain institutions in terms of compensating student-athletes.

The proposed law outlines what constitutes compensation and what does not, including exemptions such as tuition, room, board, books, and specific governmental grants.

The proposed legislation specifies that certain payments, such as hourly wages for non-athletic work and academic stipends, are permissible up to certain limits. The Act also clarifies that this legislation does not consider health-related benefits, disability insurance, career counseling services, and job placement assistance as compensation.

The Act would prohibit institutions, interstate intercollegiate athletic associations, or conferences from being held liable for adopting, enforcing, or complying with rules that limit or prohibit student-athletes from receiving compensation; restricting the eligibility of student-athletes who violate institutional or conference rules; and complying with agreements or understandings contemplated under Federal law.

In summary, this legislation aims to establish a framework that limits the liability of specific educational institutions regarding the compensation of student-athletes and prioritizes their welfare. It defines permissible compensation within the collegiate sports landscape, ensuring that student-athletes can receive certain benefits without jeopardizing their eligibility or the institution’s compliance with regulations.

Click here to read the bill.

“The Protect the BALL Act changes the game for more than 500,000 student athletes across our country by allowing schools to provide new benefits for them and comply with the law,” said Rep. Moore in a press release issued by his office. “Universities should be able to preserve and extend these opportunities for their student athletes without risk of litigation, and this legislation ensures they can continue to do so.”

Rep. Fry added: “NIL rules are ever-changing, heavily litigated, and essentially unenforceable — causing confusion and chaos for everyone involved. “We must establish a liability shield on the national level to protect schools, student-athletes, and conferences as they navigate this new set of circumstances. This legislation is an integral component of saving college sports as we know it.”

Caleb Diaz is a member of the Adams and Reese Litigation Practice Group, experienced in sports law, entertainment law, labor and employment, commercial litigation, and insurance law. Caleb is admitted to practice in Alabama, Florida, and Texas. He can be reached at

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