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Mark Emmert threatens California schools over player likeness bill

Photo: © Robert Deutsch | USATSI

(Robert Deutsch | USATSI)

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.

[USA Today: NCAA says California schools could be banned from championships if bill isn’t dropped]

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

43 Comments for Mark Emmert threatens California schools over player likeness bill



  1. 4everUKblue
    11:03 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

    It’s time for Emmert to go, he’s corrupt and bad for the NCAA.



    • runningunnin.454
      11:44 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

      Nine years is definitely too long; he’s become a despot.



    • BobbyBlue
      12:31 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      I read that Emmert got a $2 mill plus raise to boost his salary into the $4 mill range last year that was hushed up as much as possible.



  2. KYjellyRoll
    11:10 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

    I absolutely do not nor will I ever understand why a kid cannot make money off their own image?!



    • CatfaninCinci
      11:14 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

      It’s almost to the point of which I’m asking… “Who exactly is Emmert fronting for?”

      Emmert seems to be alone in fighting this. Against literally everyone. It’s almost like, someone has threatened to kill his kids or something if he ever yields. Who has dirty laundry on Emmert. Or better yet, who has more to gain from this not ever coming to pass than Emmert does?



  3. J-Dub421
    11:14 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

    Only Mark Emmert and his cronies can profit off players and their likenesses!



  4. ukjaybrat
    11:17 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

    so, looking at this from another angle, what can the state of California actually do?

    There’s nothing illegal about profiting from your own likeness. So they aren’t changing any laws.

    They have zero power to tell the NCAA to change their rules. athletic institutions are bound by the rules as long as they want to compete. they want to pay their players, ncaa can legally say well you aren’t playing any of our compliant schools.

    i’m not defending emmert here. just saying. what does california actually think they’re going to get out of this?



    • CatfaninCinci
      11:32 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

      Technically, they could cut funding to schools who don’t follow their law. The schools are in a lose lose



    • ukjaybrat
      11:35 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

      Good point. Hadn’t considered that. That really does suck for the schools then (as you said, lose lose) who probably WANT to give their student athletes some compensation. but can’t



    • ClutchCargo
      12:01 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      I came here to post the same thing. Also, given that a state law has nothing to do with NCAA rules, why does Emmert foolishly get involved with this?



    • ClutchCargo
      2:08 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      It seems like much ado about nothing. The bill would ALLOW college athletes to profit from their image. The NCAA prohibits it. So I don’t think cutting state funding is even an issue. Also, there is nowhere in that article where anyone said or implied a threat to California schools from the NCAA. To be clear, Emmert is an evil prick. But I think this situation is way overblown.



    • CatfaninCinci
      7:12 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      Agreed. Just politicians trying to ‘look’ like they’re doing something. When in actuality, they know it won’t do anything.



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      1:00 am June 25, 2019 Permalink

      Actually losing the right to play will cut shared funding for the less popular schools and could kill advertising revenue when companies jump off board. Then again the opposite could happen, the NCAA cuts ties with Cali and then every kid ends up going there, which would turn the Pac-12 into a super conference.



  5. njcat54
    11:22 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

    How long after CA passes this legislation does every other state pass similar language? Where then is the competitive disadvantage Emmert?

    Oh how I wish CA follows through with this.



    • runningunnin.454
      11:56 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

      But, didn’t the ncaa force another state to rescind a proposed law? North Carolina, maybe?



    • njcat54
      3:21 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      No idea… but Emmert can threaten all conferences and states that they will be excluded, but at some point the dam is going to break on this.



  6. Kerosenerag
    11:39 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

    This is something Emmert and his so called committee should have addressed long, long ago…..but no,it would cut into the Ncaa’s precious monopoly. This is America and any person should be able to profit off their likeness. I say,as most do,call Emmerts bluff. The only way for true change is to stand up to this corrupt organization! (NCAA)



  7. scwhite9
    11:42 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

    I think that California needs to follow the rules the rest of us follow with the NCAA. Is it perfect? No. But, this is no excuse for California to benefit above other states.



    • Smyrna_Cat
      11:46 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

      UNCheat laughed at this.



    • Kerosenerag
      5:36 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      In a Democratic Republic that’s what happens….the elected officials of any state has a right to set laws as they see fit. Like or dislike them as you please. That’s what the voter ballot is for. So California has every right to do this.



    • Luether
      6:56 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      My sources say that CA should spend more time managing their grossly underfunded pension funds, reforming their poorly performing schools, and attending to their hundreds of thousands homeless…



  8. Smyrna_Cat
    11:44 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

    This has made Emmert so mad that we gave Duke and UNCheat a “get out of jail free” card for the next 10 years.

    NCAA is going to be TOTALLY irrelevant (they are mostly irrelevant now) if they don’t get their heads out of their butts.



  9. UKinIN
    11:46 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

    Agree or not the NCAA’s message is about amateur sports and education. If a NCAA athlete profits from their likeness that violates the rules of amateurism. The fact that the NCAA makes billions off of these rules is an accidental byproduct. Why are people shocked by Emmert’s stance??? I don’t think the problem of the NCAA’s mission vs. what is owed to the athletes can be solved by just paying the players. That would still require monitoring and just the football and basketball programs alone could generate oversight of 40+ players. I’ve always thought that players should benefit from the coverage of expenses, travel for family, food, clothing, stipend, etc. Still be a student-athlete but the school legally meets every financial need.



    • Smyrna_Cat
      12:14 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      “The fact that the NCAA makes billions off of these rules is an accidental byproduct.”

      That is an amazingly disturbing statement.



    • UKinIN
      7:07 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      From the NCAA’s point of view.



    • Bluebloodtoo
      12:44 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      That approach is fine for the power schools who could easily met that requirement. The problem comes from the other schools. It’s kinda like a “free market” problem. If only the successful schools could afford that approach, then you essentially cut off any possibility of other schools getting in the mix. You then have the haves and the have nots and they don’t ever change.



    • Kerosenerag
      5:46 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      That is a byproduct of what the NCAA does. Schools and players also have the right to not participate….but the schools will not because of the money they make.
      What the NCAA don’t want is competition, but that is exactly what would fix this problem. Some smart person needs to figure out how to start another organization and get several bluebloods or conferences to join in. The chances of getting this done is slim tho.



  10. 2thepoint
    11:48 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

    Not only call his bluff, but initiate investigations of his decisions concerning UNC and lack of charges against Duke. I nelieve other power conferences are ready to side with California.



    • Smyrna_Cat
      12:14 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      I believe most are.



  11. KYjellyRoll
    11:51 am June 24, 2019 Permalink

    Ok, what if all 300+ D1 schools start doing this? They gonna stop hating tourneys?



    • KYjellyRoll
      12:06 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      Having*



    • runningunnin.454
      12:33 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      Of course, a California school has only won the championship once in the last 44 years…moot point?



    • Smyrna_Cat
      12:41 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      The NCAA has been the only game in town for years, but I can certainly see that changing.



  12. Bluebloodtoo
    12:41 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

    Being a member of the NCAA is voluntary. Those schools could choose to leave the NCAA and do whatever they want, but then they lose the demand that generates the income for those kids. Which is basically what Emmert is saying…



    • StuckinLville
      2:06 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

      I agree Emmert needs to go and players should be able to profit off their image, but for state legislature to get involved is not going to help the process. Look how the NCAA banned events in states who had bathroom laws.



  13. RealCatsFan
    12:45 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

    So, not directly related to the issue, but exactly how many cans of hairspray does this dude go through every week to maintain that helmet?



  14. kentuckybackupplayer
    12:56 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

    Look, Emmert wants to postpone the vote on the bill so the NCAA and their money guys have enough time to try to bribe the members of the legislature. It is that simple.



  15. enguk28
    3:26 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

    Yeah the ncaa can’t do anything worse to the PAC12s championship hopes that the PAC12 has already done to its own championship hopes.



  16. serdi
    3:35 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

    The NCAA lost all authority on October 13, 2017 when the let the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill off the hook.



  17. just a guy
    6:59 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

    Look, California and Colorado made marijuana legal, but if you work at a job that prohibits it, then you face the consequences when ur busted. Yes a player in California can make money on his likeness, but that was never illegal anyway. But if you do go out and sell jerseys you will be deemed ineligible, so nothing has changed. Leave it to California to want to seem progressive when 99% of it is hot air



  18. Mad Max
    8:14 pm June 24, 2019 Permalink

    His comments should have been “ hands off bitches, that’s my money”

    Way to lead Cali. If you’re pissing this guy off you’re doing something right!!?



  19. Sparkacus
    8:35 am June 25, 2019 Permalink

    My prediction: Once this happens in California, NCAA will try to ban all the California players who make money. California will sue Emmertt and win. Then the rest of the states in the NCAA will follow suit just to level the recruitment playing field. I can imagine Kentucky having a bill waiting for the governor’s desk the moment we lose a 5-star guard to UCLA.