Mark Emmert 'Strongly' Recommends NCAA Delay Voting on NIL Legislation

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IJanuary 9, 2021

FILE - In this April 4, 2019, file photo, NCAA President Mark Emmert answers questions at a news conference at the Final Four college basketball tournament in Minneapolis. Emmert says it is “highly probably” federal legislation will pass that sets national guidelines for how college athletes can be compensated for the their names, images and likenesses. Emmert spoke Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, at the Learfield/IMG Intercollegiate Athletic Forum sponsored by the Sports Business Journal, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
Matt York/Associated Press

NCAA president Mark Emmert is "strongly" recommending the Division I Council delay a vote on name, image and likeness legislation this week, according to Alan Blinder of The New York Times. 

The NIL framework would create a pathway for college athletes to profit off through sponsorship and other revenue streams related to their fame. A vote expected on Monday is now in peril despite pressure from the Justice Department this week. 

"We believe, as courts have regularly held, that our current amateurism and other rules are indeed fully compliant [with federal antitrust law]," Emmert wrote to an assistant attorney general in a letter obtained by The New York Times. "Whenever we consider revisions to the rules, however, we of course receive input from many interested parties, and we welcome your invitation to consult with the department so that we can hear and fully understand its views as well."

Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal first reported Thursday the vote may be tabled, noting SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey among those in favor of postponement.

Emmert is also calling for a delay to consider dropping the one-year wait period for athletes who transfer schools in baseball, basketball, football and men's hockey. 

On Friday, USA TODAY's Steve Berkowitz and Christine Brennan obtained a letter from Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department's antitrust division expressing concern over the NCAA's regulations' compliance with antitrust laws: "Ultimately, the antitrust laws demand that college athletes, like everyone else in our free market economy, benefit appropriately from competition."

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College athletics leaders are expected to follow Emmert's guidance and delay the vote for an undisclosed amount of time, according to The New York Times