With several state laws scheduled to allow college athletes to benefit off their name, image and likeness, NCAA president Mark Emmert is pushing the association to approve new rules by July 1.
Emmert, who recently had his contract extended through 2025, told The New York Times on Friday that he would recommend college sports’ governing bodies approve new NIL rules “before, or as close to, July 1.”
That’s the day that NIL laws in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and New Mexico are scheduled to begin. A number of other states have also passed laws, with ESPN reporting that there are eight different start dates across 13 signed laws.
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After years of preventing athletes from being eligible if they benefit from their name, image and likeness, the tide has been turning in recent years. A timeline was put on the process in 2019, when California passed a law scheduled to go into effect in 2023.
The NCAA has been pushing for nationwide laws. Emmert appeared before a committee of U.S. Senators in February, urging congress to help “maintain uniform standards in college sports.”
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One proposal that has been before NCAA members for months would allow student-athletes to be paid for their NIL by private companies, and to earn money through social media advertisements.
“We need to get a vote on these rules that are in front of the members now,” Emmert said of the approaching deadline.
Emmert discussed NIL with several college basketball players in April. And while the timeline has been pushed up, ESPN reported that sources on Capitol Hill believe odds are low that a national law comes to fruition before July 1.
“Members of Congress have been working privately during the past couple months to try to find compromises among the half dozen bills related to college sports reform proposed in the past year,” ESPN’s Dan Murphy wrote. “The most likely path for a successful federal bill starts in the Senate Commerce Committee, where senators in leadership positions are interested in finding a solution. Two main obstacles remain. First, the senators hoping to produce a bipartisan compromise would need to reach an agreement on the scope of reforms they are willing to include in any new law. There is some optimism among politicians involved in those negotiations. Second, they would have to rally a steep increase in momentum among their colleagues in the House. While there are two NIL bills submitted on the House side, sources say the path to any quick action on that side of the legislature will be a much heavier lift.”
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