Emmert: NCAA crafting ‘interim’ NIL rules after court loss

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NCAA President Mark Emmert said Wednesday the association is working on interim rules that will permit college athletes to earn money off their fame and celebrity by July and act as a bridge until there is a permanent solution.

In a memo sent to member schools and obtained by The Associated Press, Emmert acknowledged the current uncertainty across college sports as it moves toward allowing name, image and likeness compensation for athletes.

“We are focused on providing you additional guidance to make the introduction of the NIL era as smooth as possible,” he wrote in the memo, which was first reported by The Athletic.

Six states – Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and New Mexico – have laws set to go into effect July 1 that would undercut existing NCAA rules and give athletes the opportunity to be paid by third parties for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances.

Several other state laws could also go into effect in July. 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.

“Although permanent NIL rule changes by July 1 are unlikely due to the legal environment, we are working with divisional governance bodies to develop interim solutions that will fairly allow student-athletes to take advantage of NIL opportunities regardless of the state in which they are enrolled,” Emmert wrote.

Last week, Emmert sent a letter to membership urging legislative action on NIL rules or he would take executive steps toward a temporary solution.

The NCAA Division I Council met Tuesday and Wednesday but was not expected to take any action on NIL. The Council has another meeting tentatively set for Monday.

The leaders of six Division I conferences have urged the D-I Council to shelve an NIL proposal that has been in limbo for months and instead proposed a stopgap measure that would allow schools to implement NIL rules in states where there is none until a federal law is passed.

Emmert wrote in his latest letter that the NCAA remains “committed to working with Congress to chart a path forward, which is a point the Supreme Court expressly stated in its ruling” this week, a 9-0 decision against the NCAA on the topic of education-related benefits for athletes.

Emmert stressed the high court still puts authority to govern college sports in the hands of the association. However, he warned the more than 1,100 member schools Wednesday “existing and new rules are subject to antitrust analysis and we should expect continued litigation., particularly in the area of ‘play for pay.”‘

No. 3 TCU loses 31-28 in OT to K-State in Big 12 title game

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Ty Zentner kicked a 31-yard field goal in overtime as 13th-ranked Kansas State beat No. 3 TCU 31-28 in the Big 12 championship game Saturday, leaving the Horned Frogs to wait another day to find out if they had already done enough to get into the four-team College Football Playoff.

The Wildcats set up the winning field goal after TCU (12-1) had the opening possession of overtime and Kendre Miller was stopped short on consecutive plays from inside the 1.

Deuce Vaughn ran for 130 yards and a touchdown and Will Howard threw two TDs for the Wildcats (10-3, No. 10 CFP), who six weeks earlier had jumped out to a 28-10 lead early in the second quarter before TCU scored the game’s last 28 points.

That was one of five games the Horned Frogs (12-1, No. 3 CFP) won when trailing after halftime. But they couldn’t do it again with the chance to guarantee being the first Big 12 team other than Oklahoma to make the playoff.

TCU, the first Big 12 team to complete a regular season undefeated since Texas in 2009, could still get into the playoff. While their case was helped when fourth-ranked Southern California (11-2) lost 47-24 to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game Friday night, the Frogs now have to wait until the final CFP rankings come out Sunday.

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark said before the game that TCU, with first-year coach Sonny Dykes, already deserved to be in the playoff.

“You look at their strength of schedule. You think about how they’ve performed all year long,” Yormark said. “I think regardless, they should be in, for sure.”

No. 4 USC falls to Utah in Pac-12 Championship, damaging playoff hopes

Utah vs. USC
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LAS VEGAS — No. 12 Utah pounded a limping, bloodied Caleb Williams and roared past No. 4 Southern California 47-24 on Friday night to win the Pac-12 Championship and put USC’s College Football Playoff hopes in doubt.

The loss by the Trojans (11-2) could open the way for Ohio State (11-1) to take their spot in the playoffs. USC is fourth in the CFP rankings, the Buckeyes are one step behind.

Ohio State had to be Utah’s biggest fan. The Buckeyes move up in playoff consideration, with 12-0 Michigan at No. 2 with the Big Ten championship game on Saturday, that would give the Big Ten conference two playoff teams for the first time. It also would extend the Pac-12′s playoff drought — Washington in 2017 is the last team from that conference to make the playoffs.

Utah (10-3) is heading to the Rose Bowl, but the Utes already were going there regardless of the outcome of the title game. They are responsible for USC’s only losses, having edged the Trojans 43-42 on Oct. 15 in Salt Lake City.

The Utes rolled up 533 yards of offense in the rematch, and Cam Rising passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns.

Williams threw for 363 yards and three TDs. He entered the game as the leading Heisman Trophy candidate, but wasn’t the same after getting injured in the first quarter.

The Trojans looked as if they were going to run away with the game, taking a 17-3 lead early in the second quarter behind some stellar play by Williams.

He appeared to hurt his left knee or leg in the first quarter on a 59-yard run in which he took a big hit at the end, and he suffered a bad cut on the pinky finger of his throwing hand. He spent most of the game limping, and wasn’t the same after a sterling first quarter in which the Trojans outgained Utah in total yards 194-70, and Williams had both touchdown passes.

After USC failed to pick up a fourth-and-8 from Utah’s 37-yard line, the Utes scored two touchdowns in the final 3:55 of the first half, and suddenly the game was tied at 17. Instead of a rout, the game was beginning to look like the shootout the Utes won in October.

The game took on that tone at times in the second half, but USC had no answer for how to slow down Utah, which outscored the Trojans 44-7 in overcoming that two-touchdown deficit.

ATTENDANCE RECORD

A announced sellout crowd of 61,195 made this the largest for a neutral-site Pac-12 Championship. It beat the previous record of 58,476 fans. who watched Southern California-Stanford in Santa Clara, California, in 2015.