The NCAA had hoped to have broad NIL rules in place months ago, but that process bogged down, as did efforts on Capitol Hill to have Congress pass a law addressing the issue. Emmert said the NCAA will continue to push for a federal law to "provide clarity on a national level.”
The NCAA was forced to seek a temporary solution rather than have athletes in some states eligible for compensation while others were not. More than 10 states have laws set to go into effect Thursday that would have undercut or simply declared inert existing NCAA rules regarding NIL earnings.
Without NCAA action, athletes in some states could be making money without putting their college eligibility in jeopardy while their counterparts in other states could be in danger of breaking NCAA rules.
The NCAA's stopgap measure comes less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the association in a case involving education-related benefits. That 9-0 ruling is expected to impact issues related to compensation for athletes.
While the NCAA has been fighting court battles and debating rules for compensation for years, the sudden pivot is jarring, if not perfectly clear on how it will affect recruiting and competitive balance.
For now, the NCAA has largely left the issue in the hands of more than 1,100 member schools.
“The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve,” Emmert said.