The NCAA officially delayed a vote on new legislation that would allow college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness on Monday after the Department of Justice’s warning.
The NCAA’s Division I Council announced on Monday night, just before the College Football Playoff championship game kicked off, that it had delayed that vote and another on new transfer rules.
It is unclear when the council will return to vote on the two proposals, which were set to be voted on on Monday and Tuesday.
“The Council remains fully committed to modernizing Division I rules in ways that benefit all student-athletes,” Pennsylvania athletic director and council chair M. Grace Calhoun said in a statement. “Unfortunately, external factors require this pause, and the Council will use this time to enhance the proposals.”
The NIL rules would have allowed athletes to pursue sponsorship deals and endorsements separate from their universities, something that is not currently allowed. Several states across the country have passed laws themselves that would allow athletes to do this, including California and Florida — where the law is set to go into effect in July.
How the NCAA manages this new change in certain states but not others is unclear.
Delay comes after NCAA president, DOJ speak
The decision to delay the votes came just days after NCAA president Mark Emmert and Makan Delrahim, the Department of Justice’s assistant attorney general of the antitrust division, corresponded about the changes.
In a letter to Delrahim, Emmert said he “strongly recommended” delaying the votes over concerns that it could violate antitrust laws. Delhraim had previously written to Emmert with concerns that the NIL proposal was too restrictive on athletes.
Delrahim, according to USA Today, was also concerned about an aspect of the transfer process that wasn’t going to be adjusted in the new legislation. That vote would make it easier for athletes to transfer schools without having to sit out one year.
"The NCAA and its member schools are committed to ensuring that NCAA rules comply with all applicable laws, including federal antitrust law," Emmert wrote in his letter, via The Associated Press. "We believe, as courts have regularly held, that our current amateurism and other rules are indeed fully compliant. Whenever we consider revisions to the rules, however, we of course receive input from many interested parties, and we welcome your invitation to consult with the Department so that we can hear and fully understand its views as well.”
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