Sources: DOJ Cautioned NCAA's NIL Plans In November Meeting
NCAA execs met with a Justice Department official in November to "discuss the association's plan to change its rules that prevent student-athletes from profiting on their names, according to sources cited by Lauren Hirsch of CNBC.com. Sources said that NCAA Chief Legal Officer & COO Donald Remy and several other officials met with Antitrust Division Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim to "explain the organization's view on the issue and its thinking on changes it is considering." The meeting "highlights the mounting political pressure the NCAA is facing to change a system that critics have argued is unfair or even akin to price fixing, putting it in potential violation of federal antitrust laws." State governments are "threatening to force change upon the NCAA through legislation." But the "specter of the DOJ bringing suit against the organization -- should it wish -- puts a powerful set of eyes on the NCAA as it formulates its policies." A source said that the November meeting occurred "shortly after the NCAA announced its April deadline for unveiling next steps in the matter." A source added that it happened after the NCAA BOG "warned California that its bill could result in the state's 58 NCAA schools being blocked from participating in NCAA competitions, an announcement that caught the DOJ's attention." A source said that during the meeting, Delrahim "warned NCAA representatives that if it announces new policies in April the DOJ views as anticompetitive, the department is willing to take appropriate action" (CNBC.com, 1/14).
JOINING THE CAUSE: In Lincoln, Chris Dunker noted the state of Nebraska on Monday "joined the groundswell" with a bill from state Sen. Megan Hunt that would "remove the strictures on college athletes in the state from seeking financial compensation beyond their scholarships and stipends." Hunt's bill, which has 11 co-sponsors, "would prohibit colleges and universities from making rules to prevent student-athletes from profiting from their name or likeness." It also "precludes the NCAA or other collegiate athletic associations from penalizing individual student-athletes or participating institutions because a player had a moneymaking deal." Hunt's bill "wouldn't go into effect" until '23 (LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR, 1/14).