Emmert fiddles while amateurism burns.

Your NCAA, hard at work.

Set to pass NIL at its virtual convention in mid-January, the NCAA delayed the decision, citing a letter from the Department of Justice. However, a more practical reason has emerged. The governing body of college athletics is waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on its antitrust case, NCAA v. Alston, before passing any NIL legislation, multiple sources tell Sports Illustrated. Some contend that approving NIL would damage the NCAA’s argument in Alston, weakening its chances for a victory in a case that, while it centers around antitrust, also could produce a decision that greatly impacts amateurism.

But how long is the NCAA willing to wait? The Alston decision isn’t expected until June, if not later, coming dangerously close to what is becoming a D-Day for college sports: July 1. Eleven states have passed NIL laws, four of which take effect July 1: Mississippi, Florida, New Mexico and Alabama. Two more states have a bill awaiting a governor’s signature to become law and 18 more have introduced a bill this spring, as states hurry to one-up one another for recruiting purposes.

The states hurry, even if the NCAA doesn’t.  Or maybe that should be because the NCAA doesn’t.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, part of the NCAA’s NIL working group, says the group has met at least twice a month, spending the last four months continuously tinkering with what they term as an evolving NIL legislative proposal. SI obtained the original proposal last fall.

While the NCAA hopes Congress passes a federal bill to govern NIL, the organization expects at some point to remove its tabled item and pass the long-awaited measure.

“There are those advocating to pass it before July 1,” Bowlsby says. “There are those who say some of the chaos is required and let the state laws go into effect. It puts the institutions in a tough spot. They’re going to either comply with NCAA rules and against the state or comply with state law and against the NCAA.”

Gee, Bob, I wonder which course of action they’ll choose.



Filed under Political Wankery, Recruiting, The NCAA

18 responses to “Emmert fiddles while amateurism burns.

  1. Thankfully we have a new AD at UGA. I think it was clear that our former AD saw the NCAA reg book as the supreme law of the land.


  2. CB

    I give up. Which will they choose? State or NCAA? I genuinely don’t know.


    • Let me help you out here. If you are a school president, whom would you rather risk alienating, Mark Emmert or the people who control the funding of your institution?

      Liked by 4 people

      • CB

        Fair, but there are always sanctions and postseason bans to worry about. It would have to be a “they can’t ban us all” unified action I suppose.


        • The problem with that is numbers. You’ve got eleven states that have passed laws; four go into effect in a little over two months. You really think the NCAA is prepared to shut down a bunch of D-1 programs like Alabama? Shit, I guarantee you the NCAA doesn’t think it’s prepared to do that.

          Either the NCAA starts suing now, or the states make the rules.

          Liked by 4 people

          • CB

            Makes sense. I know I can be a snark lord, but I’m genuinely here to learn this morning.


          • Tony BarnFart

            Yeah, I don’t think any association can compel (by threat of / eventual punishment) members to violate state law. Would that not be the starting point of analysis ? Wouldn’t the NCAA rules in conflict with state law be ipso facto null and void ?


  3. ASEF

    Sounds like classic NCAA: smaller schools with the “over my dead body” position, larger schools leaning back and saying, “Ok, let’s see how that works out for you.”


  4. Hmmmm…I’m starting to think this is all about money.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. spur21

    If you are surprised by the NCAA stance raise your hand.


  6. mg4life0331

    I think no matter how it goes down the NCAA execs get some golden parachutes.


  7. classiccitycanine

    Meanwhile the CFP is studying playoff expansion…
    I expect they’re just waiting to see what kind of check Mickey is willing to write. That, not NIL reform, is the real existential threat to college football.


  8. Faltering Memory

    There isn’t a smart guy in the room, let alone a “smartest guy in the room.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sniffer

    If the Supreme Court doesn’t bail them out, the NCAA can simply say, “well, we had the cards but the states played their hand before we could raise ‘em”.