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Congress Compensating Athletes
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., left, the ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, greets NCAA President Mark Emmert as the panel prepares to hold a hearing on student athlete compensation and federal legislative proposals to enable athletes participating in collegiate sports to monetize their name, image, and likeness, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
NCAA President Mark Emmert told the organization’s more than 1,200 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 memo obtained by The Associated Press, Emmert urged members to pass legislation that would make it permissible for the first time for college athletes to earn money off their names, images and likenesses.
The NCAA Division I Council meets Tuesday and Wednesday and could act on an NIL proposal that has been stalled since January. Five 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 down 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.