Oct 20th, 2021 |
67: Dr. Livingstone’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Congressional Testimony
On September 30th, 2021, Baylor University President Linda Livingstone testified in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. The hearing was titled “A Level Playing Field: College Athletes’ Rights to Their Name, Image, and Likeness.” Dr. Livingstone identified herself to the Subcommittee and the public primarily as a university president and mentioned her role as the Vice-Chair of the Big XII Conference and a member of the NCAA’s Constitutional Committee. But Dr. Livingstone is not a garden variety university president when it comes to college sports. She is also a member of the NCAA Board of Governors and the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. These are the two most powerful and consequential governing boards in the NCAA governance system, making Dr. Livingstone one of the most influential people in college sports. Dr. Livingstone made a case for placing the NCAA on the Iron Throne of college sports regulation, advocating for federal preemption of state NIL laws, anti-trust immunity, and a federal declaration that athletes cannot be employees of their university. In her testimony, Dr. Livingstone did not identify or explain to the Subcommittee the powerful positions she holds in the NCAA governance system. Moreover, Dr. Livingstone’s case for extraordinary federal powers and immunities pitted the interests of revenue-producing athletes against those of nonrevenue-producing athletes. This episode analyzes Dr. Livingstone’s testimony.