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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The NCAA is moving closer to allowing Division I athletes to earn money from their name, image and likeness (NIL) as early as next year.

Driving the news: Recommended rule changes will be reviewed by college sports administrators this week before being sent to the NCAA Board of Governors, which meets next Monday and Tuesday, AP's Ralph Russo reports.

Why it matters: "If adopted, the rules would allow athletes to make sponsorship and endorsement deals with all kinds of companies and third parties, from car dealerships to concert promoters to pizza shops, according to a person who has reviewed the recommendations," writes Russo.

  • "The recommendations also call for allowing athletes to sign autographs for money, sell their memorabilia, and be paid for personal appearances and working as an instructor in their sport."

The backdrop: California and Colorado have passed legislation to allow college athletes to earn endorsement money starting in 2023, and 32 other states have introduced similar bills, including one in Florida that would take effect next July.

  • Fearful that this patchwork of state laws will lead to competitive imbalance and regulatory chaos, the NCAA has asked Congress for help in creating a national standard.
  • The recommendations being reviewed this week come from a working group set up 11 months ago and led by Ohio State AD Gene Smith and Big East commissioner Val Ackerman.

The bottom line: The NCAA appears to have finally realized that there's no stopping this train and looks poised to pass sweeping reform, but as ESPN's Ivan Maisel puts it, "let's not confuse belated acceptance of responsibility with leadership."

Reproduced from Student Player; Cartogram: Axios Visuals

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National Guard chief says it took 3 hours for Pentagon to grant Jan. 6 request

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, will testify Wednesday that it took three hours and 19 minutes for Pentagon leadership to approve a request for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to his prepared remarks.

Why it matters: The timeline over when National Guard requests were made and granted has been a key point of contention in congressional hearings examining the security failures surrounding the Capitol riots.

38 mins ago - World

International Criminal Court opens Israel-Palestine war crimes probe

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International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday announced her intention to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the Palestinian territories since 2014.

Why it matters: The investigation is expected to consider possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the 2014 war in Gaza, as well as the construction of West Bank settlements by Israel. It could sharply increase tensions between Israel, which fiercely opposes the probe, and Palestinian leaders, who requested it.

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1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Exxon says it's well-positioned amid investor pressure

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ExxonMobil said Wednesday that its oil-and-gas development plans will create good returns even at modest oil prices as the company looks to win back investor confidence after several rocky years.

Driving the news: The company, just ahead of an investor presentation this morning, said its investments are designed to generate returns of over 30% and touted its spending reductions.