NCAA memo: Emmert urges schools to act on NIL or he will

Jun 18, 2021, 1:17 AM | Updated: 4:27 pm

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — NCAA President Mark Emmert told the association’s more than 1,100 member schools Friday that he will seek temporary rules as early as July to ensure all athletes can be compensated for their celebrity with a host of state laws looming and congressional efforts seemingly stalled.

In a memo obtained by The Associated Press, Emmert urged members to pass legislation by the end of June that would for the first time make it permissible for college athletes to earn money off their names, images and likenesses.

All three divisions of NCAA athletics have been working toward reforming NIL rules and lifting restrictions on athletes since 2019.

“Since that time, many states have enacted NIL legislation and 10 state laws can take effect this July. It is therefore essential we now enact rules before the end of the month,” Emmert wrote in an email sent to presidents and chancellors, athletic directors, senior compliance administrators, conference commissioners and others.

The NCAA Division I Council meets Tuesday and Wednesday and could act on an NIL proposal that was expected to be voted on back in January.

Instead, Emmert encouraged membership at that time to put the vote on hold after an the Justice Department notified the NCAA that it’s proposed rule changes could violate antitrust law.

Since spring, Emmert has encouraged membership to move forward on NIL reform and has said he was confident new rules would be in place before the start of next football season.

Six states have NIL laws set to go into effect July 1 that will permit college athletes to be paid for endorsements, personal appearances and social media posts, setting up the possibility of patchwork rules from coast to coast for thousands of athletes.

“By July, all our athletes should be provided NIL opportunities regardless of the state they happen to live in,” Emmert wrote in the memo.

The NCAA has asked Congress for help in the form of a federal NIL law that would set uniform standards and preempt state laws. But it appears nothing will get done in Washington before the August recess.

Emmert wrote that if NCAA rules changes are not in place by July, he will take action.

“I have directed my staff to create proposals to this end. We will provide more details next week as this approach is reviewed by the NCAA Board of Governors and the divisional governance bodies,” he wrote.

Ramogi Huma, executive director of the National College Players Association, said the NCAA should have taken more aggressive action after California became the first state to pass an NIL law in 2019. The NCPA has been working with lawmakers on bills that address NIL and other college athlete issues.

“This memo is an admission that the NCAA is not helpless and that it’s merely asking Congress for a favor,” Huma said in statement to AP.

The NCAA’s plan is to allow athletes to be paid by third parties. The schools would not be involved in the transactions.

The NCAA does want to place some limitations around NIL rights and to be able to monitor athletes’ deals to prevent payments from being used as recruiting inducements.

Athlete advocates want unfettered access to the free market, though even state laws soon to be in effect in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, New Mexico and Texas place some limitations on how athletes can earn money off their fame.

In Washington, there is consensus among lawmakers there should be a federal law guaranteeing college athletes the ability to make money from NIL. But leading Democrats would like to extend their reach into other areas of college sports such as regulating long-term health care and education opportunities for athletes. Republicans want to focus on a more narrow NIL bill.

Both parties have questioned whether the NCAA and Emmert have the ability to successfully lead and govern college sports.

“This is an important moment for college sports and particularly for our athletes,” Emmert said. “We must act to ensure that fair opportunities, consistent with our values, are provided to all student-athletes.”

Also hanging over the NCAA is a pending Supreme Court ruling on a case involving restrictions on athlete compensation. The so-called Alston case is not about NIL payments, but some college sports leaders are concerned that the high court’s decision could have a wide-ranging impact on the NCAA’s model of amateurism.

__

Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://APpodcasts.com

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

___

This story has been corrected to show six states have NIL laws going into effect July 1.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

UNLV remains unbeaten with 95-78 romp over San Diego

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Luis Rodriguez finished with 19 points, EJ Harkless scored 17 and UNLV remained unbeaten with a 95-78 victory over San Diego on Saturday night. Rodriguez sank 7 of 9 shots with three 3-pointers for the Rebels (8-0). Harkless added five assists. Justin Webster made all four of his 3-point shots and […]
22 hours ago
Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons (1) shoots as Utah Jazz forward Jarred Vanderbilt (8) ...
Associated Press

Simons’ career-best 45 points carries Portland past Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Anfernee Simons scored a career-high 45 points and blocked a potential 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 116-111 win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. The Jazz led 111-110 after Kelly Olynyk’s twisting jumper and then had a chance to tie it […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Shelton leads Loyola Marymount over Nevada 64-52

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cam Shelton scored 24 points to lead Loyola Marymount to a 64-52 victory over Nevada on Saturday night. Shelton sank 9 of 17 shots with three 3-pointers for the Lions (6-3), adding seven rebounds. Keli Leaupepe pitched in with 10 points and eight boards. Jarod Lucas led the Wolf Pack (7-2) […]
22 hours ago
Michigan running back Donovan Edwards (7) runs with the ball as Purdue safety Sanoussi Kane (21) de...
Associated Press

No. 2 Michigan beats Purdue 43-22 for Big Ten crown

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Donovan Edwards ran for 185 yards and a score, J.J. McCarthy threw three touchdown passes and No. 2 Michigan beat Purdue 43-22 on Saturday night for its second straight Big Ten title and a likely No. 2 playoff seed. College football’s winningest program has the first 13-win season in school history. Two […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Christensen scores 20 as Utah Tech drops Weber State 77-65

OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Tanner Christensen’s 20 points helped Utah Tech defeat Weber State 77-65 on Saturday night. Christensen had eight rebounds and five assists for the Trailblazers (4-5). Isaiah Pope scored 19 points while shooting 7 of 9 from the field and 4 for 5 from the line. Jacob Nicolds was 3 of 3 […]
22 hours ago
Houston guard Marcus Sasser (0) gestures after assisting on a 3-point shot by guard Jamal Shead dur...
Associated Press

Top-ranked Houston grinds out 53-48 win over Saint Mary’s

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — J’Wan Roberts scored 15 points, Marcus Sasser added 13 and top-ranked Houston held on to beat Saint Mary’s 53-48 on Saturday night. The Cougars (8-0) won twice in their first week as the No. 1 team since the final poll of the 1982-83 regular season, when Clyde Drexler and Hakeem […]
22 hours ago
NCAA memo: Emmert urges schools to act on NIL or he will