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NCAA President Mark Emmert 'frustrated' by delay on NIL rules votes, but he insists changes will occur

NCAA President Mark Emmert said Tuesday that he is “especially frustrated and disappointed” that the association will not be moving this week to change its rules regarding athletes’ ability to transfer and to make money from the use of their names.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said Tuesday that he is “especially frustrated and disappointed” that the association will not be moving this week to change its rules regarding athletes’ ability to transfer and to make money from the use of their names, images and likenesses. However, he insisted these changes still will occur.

“All of our college athletes are profoundly disappointed and, I suspect, even angry,” Emmert said. “But we need to make clear we're still committed. We're still determined to move forward with name, image and likeness modernizations, and certainly with changing Division I transfer rules. We promised this to our students. We're going to get it done.”

In his annual state of college of sports message — this year delivered virtually as part of an online version of the NCAA Convention — Emmert addressed a process that was supposed to result in votes this week on rules changes that would impact athletes beginning in the 2021-22 school year.

But last week college presidents, conference officials and athletic administrators began discussing delaying the vote on the name, image and likeness (NIL) rules until there’s more clarity about federal government action. Then, on Friday, the Justice Department’s antitrust division leader sent a letter to Emmert that expressed strong concerns about the association’s direction on both NIL and the transfer rules.

“Because of an enormous amount of issues surrounding all of this — issues that frankly are beyond our control — (voting to approve the changes) is now a very ill-advised thing for us to do at this stage,” Emmert said.

“We're going to do it in a way that's consistent with all the laws that are applicable to the NCAA,” he added. “We think we've done that already. We think we have it right. But it's been called into question. And so, now, we need to pause to answer those questions. But again, let me be clear: Our commitment to the modernization of our rules and doing what's best for our student-athletes remains resolute.”