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Protesting players ask NCAA president Mark Emmert: Why delay meeting until after March Madness?

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The National College Players Association said Tuesday that NCAA president Mark Emmert has informed a group of basketball players who started a social media campaign to protest inequities in college sports that he will meet with them after March Madness.

NCPA executive director Ramogi Huma said in a statement that he received a letter from Emmert in response to the advocacy group's request for a meeting between the head of the NCAA and three players who led the #NotNCAAProperty protest that started last week.

Through the NCPA, the players had requested to meet with Emmert and one of the NCAA's top lobbyists on Tuesday morning.

Michigan's Isaiah Livers, Rutgers' Geo Baker and Iowa's Jordan Bohannon are pushing for the NCAA to change its rules restricting athletes from earning money for personal sponsorship deals, online endorsements and appearances.

In a letter responding to Emmert, the three players expressed their disappointment that he was waiting until after the tournament to meet and that he would be meeting only with the three players.

"Thank you for responding to our meeting request. We are disappointed that you intend to delay this important conversation for at least two weeks," the players wrote in the letter that was sent to Emmert by Huma. "From our perspective, it's difficult to imagine any higher priority you may have at this time than addressing concerns that are at the core of state and federal college athletes' rights legislation, an upcoming US Supreme Court ruling on college athletes' economic freedoms, and the NCAA's ongoing discriminatory treatment of female basketball players in its tournament. Can you please explain what you will be doing over the next two weeks that is more important than addressing these matters?

"In addition, we are disappointed with your apparent attempt to narrow the participation of this meeting to only the three of us. To be clear, we are requesting a meeting with you that will also include other men's and women's basketball players as well as NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma so that we have someone present who is an athlete advocate with expertise in these areas.

"We look forward to receiving confirmation that you will meet with the group we have described, and that you will demonstrate on behalf of your organization and membership that these issues are in fact a priority by meeting with us by Friday of this week."

NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn said the organization had no comment Tuesday.

The NCAA has committed to changing its rules regarding name, image and likeness rights, but the process has bogged down amid warnings from the Department of Justice about possible antitrust violations in the association's proposal.

An NCAA case involving an antitrust ruling is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court next week.

The NCAA has asked for help from federal lawmakers in the form of a national NIL law that would preempt dozens of state laws under consideration that would create different rules for competing schools.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.