The great state of California is making moves to allow its student-athletes to profit off their own likeness, and NCAA president Mark Emmert is trying to slow things down.
Emmert sent a letter to the chairs of two State Assembly committees last week, according to USA Today, asking to postpone consideration of the bill that would allow college athletes to profit off their own name, image or likeness, beginning in 2023. Emmert warned that California schools could be prohibited from competing for NCAA championships if the state opens up that opportunity for its amateur athletes.
“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. “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.”
Now I’m not one to tell the state of California what to do, but the committee should absolutely proceed with what it’s doing. Don’t back down to Emperor Emmert. Look him in the eye and carry on. Dare him to tell UCLA and all the Pac-12 schools they can’t compete in for titles. He doesn’t have it in him.