NCAA president Mark Emmert says he'll instruct the governing body's board members to approve new rules as five U.S. states prepare to enact legislation permitting college athletes to sign endorsement deals effective July 1.
"We need to get a vote on these rules that are in front of the members now," Emmert told The New York Times' Alan Blinder.
Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and New Mexico are at the forefront of a movement that would see Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) legislation for college athletes approved on a state-by-state basis. New rules would also allow student-athletes to earn revenue through their social media platforms.
Arizona has a law scheduled to be enacted on July 23, while another half-dozen states have similar legislation that could be put in place as early as 2022.
The NCAA's current proposal would grant schools the ability to prohibit some financial agreements if they conflict with "existing institutional sponsorship arrangements," according to Blinder.
The NCAA appointed a group to propose rule amendments concerning NIL legislation to association leaders in 2020. A vote was planned to take place in January to survey changes before it was postponed due to uncertainties surrounding how federal lawyers would assess the rules.
The Supreme Court is also expected to decide on a landmark Alston v. NCAA hearing on amateurism in collegiate sports in the coming months.
Shawne Alston, a former West Virginia University football player, sued the NCAA in 2014, citing a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Sherman Act prohibits businesses in the same industry from colluding to limit economic competition. Alston's case claims the NCAA is guilty of permitting its member schools to place a cap on a student-athlete's earnings.
The NCAA doesn't permit student-athletes to sign endorsement deals, and the governing body's proposed rule changes are considered more prohibitive than the state laws scheduled to be implemented this summer.
There are concerns that discrepancies between state and NCAA rule changes could foster legal issues as particular schools are forced to follow state rules and defy NCAA regulations.
Emmert has in the past asked Congress to assist in developing national laws that govern a student-athlete's right to profit from NIL. Other federal bills ranging in various capacities submitted by Congress aren't expected to be approved before July.