Are we expecting the NCAA’s working group to really work?

If this is the best card Mark Emmert has to play with California, he’s got a weak hand.

The NCAA is ratcheting up its opposition to a California bill that would allow college athletes in the state to earn compensation for the use of their own name, image or likeness, beginning in 2023.

In a letter to the chairs of two State Assembly committees last week, NCAA President Mark Emmert implied that if the bill becomes law as it is written, California schools could face the prospect of being prohibited from participating in NCAA championships. That includes 23 NCAA Division I schools, four of which are in the Pac-12 Conference.

I say that because the NCAA faces a much bigger threat than the California bill in Mark Walker’s proposed congressional legislation.  I don’t think Emmert can threaten the entire country with being prohibited.

“We recognize all of the efforts that have been undertaken to develop this bill in the context of complex issues related to the current collegiate model that have been the subject of litigation and much national debate,” Emmert wrote in his letter to the committee chairs. “Nonetheless, when contrasted with current NCAA rules, as drafted the bill threatens to alter materially the principles of intercollegiate athletics and create local differences that would make it impossible to host fair national championships. As a result, it likely would have a negative impact on the exact student-athletes it intends to assist.”

As I like to say, “likely” is doing a lot of work there.

I suspect this is posturing more than anything else right now.  After all, the bill, if passed, doesn’t go into effect for another four years.  The California legislature couldn’t make its intentions any more clear than this:

Late last week, wording was added that says “it is the intent of the Legislature to monitor” the NCAA working group and “revisit this issue to implement significant findings and recommendations of the NCAA working group in furtherance of the statutory changes proposed by this act.”

In other words, “Mark, get your organization’s collective head out of its ass and figure out something that’s more fair than the current ban.”  This being the NCAA we’re talking about, though, it’s probably a 50/50 proposition that it sues to void the law first.



Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

2 responses to “Are we expecting the NCAA’s working group to really work?

  1. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    “This being the NCAA we’re talking about, though, it’s probably a 50/50 proposition that it sues to void the law first.”

    Hey, attorneys have to eat, too.


  2. ChiliDawg

    If it’s a fight between the NCAA and California, I’m taking the Bear Republic in a bloodbath.