The National Collegiate Athletics Association is set to delay a vote on potentially influential standards regarding name, image, likeness and transfer policies after a letter from the Department of Justice, The New York Times reported.
The letter was sent by the department's antitrust division to NCAA president Mark Emmert on Friday, and it explains that the organization’s proposed rules may raise concern under antitrust laws, USA Today previously reported.
“Ultimately, the antitrust laws demand that college athletes, like everyone else in our free market economy, benefit appropriately from competition,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim wrote in the letter.
The panel was originally scheduled to vote this afternoon, but Emmert said he has now strongly recommended that the association’s governing bodies wait.
“We believe, as courts have regularly held, that our current amateurism and other rules are indeed fully compliant” with federal antitrust law, Emmert wrote back to Delrahim in a letter obtained by The New York Times. “Whenever we consider revisions to the rules, however, we of course receive input from many interested parties, and we welcome your invitation to consult with the department so that we can hear and fully understand its views as well.”
The association has faced pressure to change policies that prohibit athletes from profiting off their names, images and likenesses, notably from laws challenging those policies in a handful of states, including California and Florida.
Emmert has expressed frustration with the department's choice but vowed that the NCAA will change its policies.