NCAA president Mark Emmert said Monday that while the NCAA would not discuss allowing players to keep earnings from autographs, it could adopt a new model allowing for larger scholarships as early as January.
"It's an area that, when you stop and look at it, it's hard to imagine where you put a cap on it," Emmert said of the autograph rule, according to the Associated Press.
"Is it going to become a free, open-market bidding war between universities? If that's what people want, then they can have that. But as for some vehicle controlling that, it's hard to see how it simply doesn't become a wide-open bidding war.
"Intercollegiate athletics in America has always been based upon the notion that these aren't paid employees," he said. "We're going to get an opportunity probably in front of the Supreme Court to argue whether or not there ought to be collegiate athletics that looks like it does today.
Emmert's comments come after Todd Gurley was suspended earlier this month for allegedly accepting money in exchange for signing autographs.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in August that the NCAA's unwillingness to allow players to compete to be compensated for their name, image or likeness is in violation of antitrust law.
Emmert indicated expanded scholarships could include miscellaneous expenses and expanded insurance coverage. The day before Wilken's ruling the NCAA Board of Governors voted to restructure how athletic conferences are goverened, and in doing so expanded the abilities of Power Five conferences to change rules for themselves only.
- Will Green