NCAA Misses Goal of Endorsing Rules to Let Players Profit

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Stumbling between negotiation and dysfunction, NCAAThe debate over how to allow student-athletes to monetize their fame stalled again Wednesday.

Although the NCAA said in May He said the Division I Council, one of the most influential bodies in college sports, is expected to “act” this week to approve new rules on how students can benefit from their names, images and likenesses, a two-day meeting postponed Wednesday. vote. Some members have recently signaled that they expect to delay a decision, and the council will meet again on Monday, three days before at least six states are scheduled to grant new economic rights to student-athletes, regardless of whether the NCAA agrees.

But the NCAA is missing another self-imposed deadline—this is postponed a planned vote In January, in the closing days of the Justice Department, after the Trump administration voiced concerns about the association’s proposals – the depth of divisions within a multi-billion-dollar industry is on the verge of a shift far from its own.

“There have been some other critical issues, but nothing has been reflected in this kind of situation,” said Dennis E. Thomas, a longtime commissioner of the Middle East Athletic Conference. “I think we’re all disappointed.”

All three NCAA divisions are considering how to allow students to sign sponsorship deals and other outside revenue rights, but most of the attention has focused on Division I, which includes the most important conferences in college athletics and more than 170,000 student-athletes.

The Division I council, whose members include people like conference commissioners and athletic directors, is considering two proposals to give students a chance to monetize through endorsements or their social media accounts. Someone who appeared recently and had the support of some top leagues would essentially tell universities to comply with name, image, and likeness (NIL) laws in their state, or write where such statutes do not exist. own rules.

Commissioners of the Atlantic Coast, Metro Atlantic Athletic, Pac-12, Southeastern, Southwestern Athletic, and Sun Belt Conferences said in a letter Friday that their joint recommendation is to “minimize risks to student-athletes and member institutions, NCAA legislation, is in line with all state laws and is currently It offers NIL opportunities to student-athletes in states where there is no NIL law.

But their offer came late in a process that has been going on for more than two years. Until last week, NCAA leaders had focused on a plan that would broaden new rights to athletes in a more limited way and give the industry clearer authority.

Under the original approach, students will be able to monetize endorsements. But their schools may block deals in certain situations, as if they conflict with “current corporate sponsorship arrangements.”

As more state laws are scheduled to go into effect in the coming years, and some are poised to go beyond the NCAA’s potential rules, many college sports leaders fear that changes to state standards will lead to unfair recruiting advantages and ultimately unfair competition. (In a defeat for the college sports industry, Congress failed to reach agreement for a national standard through federal law. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas all have their own statutes that go into effect on at least July 1.)

The industry’s concerns intensified with the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday. unanimously decided She filed a lawsuit against the NCAA in an antitrust suit, and it turned out to lay the legal groundwork for her appeals against the rules of future courts.

NCAA president Mark Emmert said the association “continues to support NIL benefits for student-athletes” and is “committed” after the court issued its opinion not directly related to name, image and likeness agreements. Working with Congress to chart a path forward.”

In a note sent to NCAA members Wednesday afternoon, first reported by The Athletic, Emmert said the association is working to develop workarounds that “will allow student-athletes to get fair use of NIL opportunities regardless of the state in which they are registered. ”

“Our intention,” he added, “is to put these interim measures in place by 1 July.” But until then, permanent rules were “not likely due to the legal environment,” he said.

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