The NCAA's name, image and likeness deals have been in place for nearly two years, but the matter appears to be far from settled.
For new NCAA president Charlie Baker -- the former governor of Massachusetts -- ironing out issues related to NIL deals is one of his top priorities in his new role.
On Thursday night, in an interview with CBS Sports that was aired during the network's coverage of the Sweet 16, Baker confirmed his support for a previously reported plan to have elected officials legislate the particulars of NIL through some kind of "consumer protections."
That suggestion was promptly smacked down by CBS analyst and Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley.
"Did he say he's going to ask the politicians to help us?" Barkley said. "See, that pisses me off already. Our politicians are awful people."
According to Barkley, NIL would be best handled by a committee of "people who actually care about basketball," potentially including journalists, coaches and players.
"We can't ask these politicians nothing," Barkley said. "Those people are awful people. Democrats and Republicans -- they're all crooks."
Barkley has been similarly critical of both major political parties on several occasions in the past. In 2021, he claimed Democratic and Republican officials intentionally exacerbate racial tensions in America as part of a "divide and conquer" strategy.
During his interview, Baker said it was important to bring greater "transparency and accountability" to NIL.
"One of the athletics directors referred to, as, the only things that's true about it at this point is that everybody lies," Baker said.
"I would really to see some sort of uniform, standard contract, so that when somebody signs it, they know they're signing the same kind of agreement everybody else is signing," he added.
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