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Mark Emmert Says 'No Student Is NCAA Property' amid NIL Bill Debate

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 2, 2021

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

NCAA president Mark Emmert said student-athletes are not viewed as property by the organization after meeting with the leaders of the #NotNCAAProperty movement Thursday.

"No student is NCAA property nor should they ever be NCAA property," Emmert said, per Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated.

Three men's basketball players—Rutgers' Geo Baker, Michigan's Isaiah Livers and Iowa's Jordan Bohannon—led the protest organized by the National College Players Association. The trio met with Emmert Thursday to verbalize multiples requests, including abiding by Title IX and approving name, image and likeness rights, per The Athletic.

"I was incredibly impressed with their thinking on all of this," Emmert said of the meeting, per Laine Higgins of the Wall Street Journal. "... I want to personally continue that conversation."

The United States congress has discussed a bill to require revenue sharing and give NIL rights to players, the latter of which could lead to endorsement deals, money from jersey sales or athletes profiting off their social media accounts. 

"The argument is simple. We deserve an opportunity to create money from our name, image, and likeness," Baker tweeted in March. "If you don’t agree with that statement, then you are saying that you believe that I, a human being, should be owned by something else. #NotNCAAProperty"

The NCAA postponed a vote on approving NIL rights in January.

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