From the sounds of things, there may be some schools that defy the NCAA's latest decree about following their new rules, which reports are saying could be more restrictive than some state laws, including Arkansas.
This could get interesting in a hurry. The story from Dan Murphy at ESPN.com basically is there could be some straight-up defiance from some places and it will likely get lawyers involved at some point to see if the NCAA rules can over-ride whatever the state laws are.
Are We on Verge of Open Defiance with NCAA on NIL?
A letter was sent to schools Tuesday afternoon from Steve Wilcox, the NCAA's executive vice president for regulator affairs. From the report, it sounds like a rather straightforward ruling that is going to be opposite of what the rules are in a state. We'll see how long it takes for somebody to get an injunction to halt that.
"The Association has been clear and maintains that schools must adhere to NCAA legislation (or policy) when it conflicts with permissive state laws," Wilcox wrote in the letter. "In other words, if a state law permits certain institutional action and NCAA legislation prohibits the same action, institutions must follow NCAA legislation."
There is no word from anyone with the Razorbacks on this latest development. They probably are studying it right now and figuring out what their position will be, but it will be a shorter holiday weekend than a lot of folks planned. It's doubtful there will be an early straight-up rebellion immediately.
Texas A&M may not be taking that approach. Athletics director Ross Bjork said in an interview with ESPN the Aggies are going to follow the state of Texas ruling when they conflict with the state of Arkansas, saying, "state law will reign." That sounds about like open defiance. The kangaroo court for college athletics told ESPN their rules will apply, regardless of state law.
Some points of clarification in the letter to schools were:
• Boosters (including collectives) are not allowed to meet with recruits to discuss potential NIL opportunities in order to encourage them to attend a particular school.
• NIL deals can't include clauses that require an athlete to attend a particular school or live in a particular geographic area.
• Event sponsors cannot pay an NIL collective, which in turn pays athletes, as part of a contract for a team to participate in an event. For example, some schools have signed contracts with midseason basketball tournaments that include a promise from the tournament organizer to donate thousands of dollars to the collective group associated with that school. Football bowl game sponsors have explored similar arrangements.
At some point, it will be surprising to see if the SEC steps in, but commissioner Greg Sankey said earlier it will be different in every state. With some of the clarifications in conflict with state laws in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, according to the story.
You can almost count on this being headed to a courtroom somewhere, especially if the schools (and states) do together, it could be a mess bigger than anything even the NCAA doesn't want to fight. The only thing certain likely will remain chaos ... at least for awhile.