NCAA president Mark Emmert sent a memo to member schools of all three divisions on Wednesday, addressing some of the fallout from the 9-0 Supreme Court decision in favor of former players against the association. He also provided an update on name, image and likeness (NIL) in the wake of the court’s ruling.
In the memo, obtained and shared by Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, Emmert wrote that while “permanent NIL rule changes are unlikely” before July 1, the NCAA is working to “develop interim solutions that will fairly allow student-athletes to take advantage of NIL opportunities regardless of the state.” The July 1 date signals when multiple states officially enact legislation that will allow college athletes to benefit financially from their name, image and likeness.
There were no further details regarding those interim solutions or how they will be implemented, with the memo simply noting that the intent is to have interim measures in place by July 1.
The Supreme Court ruling was narrow and tethered to how much money can be spent on educational expenses for student-athletes, but it also called into question issues of athlete compensation and raised the standard for the NCAA to meet in terms of antitrust analysis. A previous Supreme Court decision gave the NCAA “ample latitude” with respect to antitrust law in 1984 and reliance on that language was dismissed.
Emmert acknowledged near the end of the memo that there will be questions about “what college sports will look like after July 1,” and even used the phrase “introduction of the NIL era” in his conclusion. While the details of these “interim solutions” in regards to NIL still need to be finalized, it appears that college sports is just weeks away from seeing its athletes have the opportunity to benefit financially off their name, image and likeness.