Wednesday, April 27, 2022

NCAA President Mark Emmert stepping down no later than 2023

NCAA president Mark Emmert answers a question during a news conference at the men's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament Thursday, March 31, 2022, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

NCAA president Mark Emmert answers a question during a news conference at the men's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament Thursday, March 31, 2022, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — NCAA President Mark Emmert is stepping down after 12 tumultuous years leading an association that has become increasingly marginalized while college sports has undergone massive changes and been besieged by political and legal attacks.

NCAA Board of Governors Chairman John DeGioia announced the move Tuesday and said it was by mutual agreement. The 69-year-old Emmert will continue to serve in his role until a new president is in place or until June 30, 2023.

The move is not entirely a surprise. The NCAA remains the biggest governing body in college athletics, but it is has been under sharp criticism for years as too heavy handed and even out of date with Emmert serving as the prime target.

Emmert has guided the NCAA through the most transformative period in the history of the more than 100-year-old organization. During the past decade, athletes have gained more power, benefits and ability to earn money than ever before. Amateurism has been redefined.

But Emmert has been viewed by some as not a catalyst for change but as an obstacle standing in the way — or at the least reactive instead of proactive.

“Throughout my tenure I’ve emphasized the need to focus on the experience and priorities of student-athletes,” Emmert said in a release from the NCAA. “I am extremely proud of the work of the association over the last 12 years and especially pleased with the hard work and dedication of the national office staff here in Indianapolis.”

The announcement comes one year after the board approved a contract extension for Emmert that ran through the 2025, a move that left many in college sports bewildered. Emmert’s salary was nearly $3 million in 2021.

The NCAA has suffered a series of damaging court losses in the past decade that peaked with last year’s 9-0 Supreme Court ruling against the association in an antitrust case. The decision undercut the NCAA’s ability to govern college sports and prompted a total overhaul how it operates.

Years after losing an antitrust case over the NCAA’s use of athletes’ names, images and likenesses, the association finally changed its rules last June to allow the athletes to profit as paid sponsors and endorsers. The move came only after state lawmakers passed laws to neuter the NCAA’s power. With Congress unwilling to provide federal protection, the NCAA has been unable to regulate NIL activity with uniform rules — leading to fresh criticism.

Emmert has been called before lawmakers in Washington numerous times over the past two years. Attacking Emmert and the NCAA has become one of the few things that has united Democrats and Republicans during these divisive political times.

Emmert was appointed to the job in April 2010. He had led the University of Washington and LSU prior to taking over in Indianapolis. He replaced Myles Brand, who held the position for seven years before dying of cancer in 2009.

The job Emmert stepped into became increasingly more difficult as big-time college sports such as major college football and basketball grew into billion-dollar businesses.

NCAA revenue has reached more than $1 billion per year under Emmert, primarily through the TV deals for the men’s college basketball tournament, and most of the money is redistributed to more than 1,100 member schools with nearly 500,000 athletes.

Still, the disparity between what the wealthiest schools bring in compared to what the vast majority of schools spend on athletics has made it difficult for them all to coexist under one umbrella organization.

NCAA member schools adopted a new constitution in January and are in the process of “transforming the structure and mission to meet future needs.”

“With the significant transitions underway within college sports, the timing of this decision provides the association with consistent leadership during the coming months plus the opportunity to consider what will be the future role of the president,” DeGioia said. “It also allows for the selection and recruitment of the next president without disruption.”

In a lengthy interview with AP in August, just months after being hammered by criticism for the NCAA’s inability to provide equitable facilities and amenities for the men’s and women’s basketball players participating in the Division I tournaments, Emmert said he was still passionate about the mission of a leading college sports during volatile times.

“And I’m not surprised that people say, ‘You know, why isn’t this getting fixed? What’s Emmert doing?’” he told AP. “And people also, they want to look to somebody and say, ‘Well, fix this, damn it!’ And I get that. I understand. And I say it in the mirror sometimes. But the truth is, it’s a very complex system. I think we do need to find ways to fix that and streamline it.”


Tony Bandle 2 months, 1 week ago

See Ya, wouldn't want to be ya!! By the way, please forget about the investigation of KU as you walk out the door!!!

Also, It would be so ironic that the 2022 champs would get punished just like the 1988 champs!!

Tim Orel 2 months, 1 week ago

I'm not clear there can be one fix, and quite honestly, I'd like the NCAA be broken down into separate organizations - 1100 member schools under one umbrella? - but I'm certain there's not a way to make schools compete with NIL on an even playing field. If the KSU guard was (reported on this site, IIRC) offered $800,000 to go to Ohio State and play basketball (but the University of Miami was willing to throw in a car on top of that money!), and he's not a player on the level of some of the top players at the college level, let alone being worthy of being a pro, I can't see how a school like KU can compete with the likes of that. And then you get into football. Sure, some schools can get contracts that will allow them to pay their stars big money, but not KU, or 75% of even the schools in the power 5, let alone the rest of the schools in Division 1-A. What happens when a teenager, making that $800,000 (granted, that is an exception, I hope) tells the assistant coach to pound sand for suggesting the student's test on Tuesday is important for him to keep his eligibility? What about the other, non-revenue sports that depend upon revenue sharing from the sports like football and basketball that bring in enough to fund the other sports?

I thought about volunteering for the position, but after thinking it over, I don't need the headache.

Bryce Landon 2 months, 1 week ago

Good riddance to the guy who thinks so little of the Jayhawks that he couldn't be bothered to get the team's name right when he presented them with the national championship trophy earlier this month. "Kansas City Jayhawks", SMH. That's a flub that even Sleepy Joe wouldn't commit. The only thing I hate about him more than botching the team's name is the fact that he decided to be woke and move NCAA Tournament games out of Greensboro, NC because of North Carolina's HB2 law in 2017. Emmert is a colossal POS and a total lolcow. College sports will be a better place without him.

Edward Daub 2 months, 1 week ago

The "Emmeror" wears no clothes. Rock Chalk!

Spencer Goff 2 months, 1 week ago

Wow, looking like Nike is gonna have to find a new stooge to run their clown show.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 1 week ago

“Emmert has guided the NCAA through the most transformative period in the history of the more than 100-year-old organization.”

Guided seems exceedingly generous. Was the captain while the rudderless ship pitched about in the storm, seems like a more apt description.

That being said, being able to retire after a decade-plus of multimillion dollar salaries seems like an okay beya.

Mostly though, this is exciting news, even if a week or so old, because it opens the door for the uni’s to hire a creative thinker to redesign what is college athletics in its various forms. I was reading where the P5’s were at least starting down that road with some of their commissioner hires. The ncaa is one of the biggest businesses in America with a global footprint and a dozen or more product lines. It needs someone with the vision to responsibly run it as such.

Ryan Mullen 2 months, 1 week ago

He will be missed.....................................................................................................

Brett McCabe 2 months, 1 week ago

Tim, I also worry about KU's ability to compete on the NIL level. Lawrence is not a big town. And is there a point where donors are asked to provide NIL money in lieu of Williams Fund contributions?

I also agree that the organization of the NCAA was incredibly muddled, operating essentially 4 different businesses: FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III. Especially when almost all of the money comes from the FBS level, but all members got the same vote.

I have long felt that athletes were given the short end of the stick, and I felt that the transfer rule was absolutely hypocritical and ridiculous. But if you are a pro, and are being paid to play for a team, you also sign a contract. And you don't really get to walk out on that contract (with a few exceptions). So, with NIL, shouldn't you be considered a pro now?

For me, we started heading down the wrong path with One and Done's. That's when you basically said: this isn't a college team anymore. And KU is as guilty as anyone.

My fear for the college game is that people will begin to turn away. I have proposed the following solution before, and I believe that it would work: Every scholarship offered counts against your total for 3 years. This would virtually eliminate One and Done's, it would greatly reduce the transfers, yet it would still allow for NIL income. You could allow transfer exceptions if the coach leaves, so that the kids have the same freedom as the coaches.

This approach would also move us back towards the student-athlete model. Give me Perry, Frank and Devonte all day long vs. Joel, Andrew, Kelly and Josh. You want to slice off the most elite level of player and send him to the G-League! Yes, please! I loved watching Perry Ellis play basketball. He was really good. Plenty good enough to drive TV ratings and fill AFH.

Barry Weiss 2 months, 1 week ago

no vision at all. he leaves with the NCAA worse than when he came to it.

2 months, 1 week ago


2 months, 1 week ago

bryce is a clown, 😘, but emmert is BOZO. good fkn riddance. most of these comments are 🎯. how do u now recruit a kid to lawrence, kansas vs, say, UCLA or U$C? were hosed like bryce at a donkey convention rcjh

2 months, 1 week ago

also, they "mutually agreed" to emmert stepping down a year After signing a Multi-Year contract Extension?! lol. really. LOL. the only guy they could have conceivably picked to do a Worse job than emmert woulda been david beatty. or turner gill. or charlie weiss. smfh. Bryce would be excluding all LGBTQ+s from ncaa events & even He woulda done a better job. lol. LOL!

Dirk Medema 2 months, 1 week ago

I’ve disagreed with Bryce on plenty but wow.

KU and basketball in particular is such a national brand that the size of Lawrence isn’t particularly significant. Heck, there might be as much interest in KU in CA as there is for usc or ucla.

We have relatively little income from FB and still we’re the third budget behind the defectors. Most programs in the country have more to worry about NIL influences than we do.

That being said, NIL is Pandora’s box. It’s why the next leader needs to be exceedingly creative and someone from outside the establishment. You can’t solve today’s problems with the same thinking that created the situation.

John Smith 2 months, 1 week ago

Congratulations to the Kansas City Jayhawks!

Lee Short 2 months, 1 week ago

Bryce, I had to look some things up. After doing so, I must say I agree with you. And, referring to Kansas Jayhawks as Kansas City Jayhawks is unbelievable. Kansas is one of the discussed basketball programs of all time.

Tim & Brett, I also with your concerns over NIL are spot on. Looks like we've created a huge mess here. One example: Nijel Pack getting $800K LifeWallet gig to leave K-state for Miami. This should be like a 5-alarm warning fire about the potential of college sports being destroyed. (See the CBS NCAA BB article.) When you read it, you think. Why is the NCAA even thinking about schools, a few years ago, possibly involved in some inappropriate monetary actions? Seems like the train, now, has with permission left the station. And the dollars involved already dwarf anything in the past.

I am not clear as to how we now enter fairness, as in fairness across colleges across the country, into this.

If I had to predict, without caps of some kind, in 10-years the top schools will be in proximity of the largest/most expensive markets where the commercial deals can be the largest. If these areas could get the best players, they could get coaches drawn to those schools, just KY, NC, KS and Duke have drawn, heretofore, prize coaching jobs.

I hope I am wrong, but I do know a little bit how much advertising $'s is spent in large markets vs other markets. Implications are scary.

Andy Godwin 2 months, 1 week ago

The NCAA has gone down a rabbit hole and cannot get out. The NCAA is run by the most clueless and inept group of administrators on the planet. They approved NIL and the transfer portal without creating any solid guidelines. See the latest from Miami's Isaiah Wong who threatens to enter the transfer portal if his NIL compensation is not increased. After Nijel Pack went from KSU to Miami and negotiated a $800,000 deal plus a car for the next two seasons, the returning Isaiah Wong sees the inequity ( within his own basketball team. College athletics is out of control. The meaning of student-athlete is gone. It is becoming clearer and clearer, that revenue generating sports on college campuses need to become professional minor-league sport, with all the rules in place for minor pro leagues. Eliminate the NCAA from oversight and use the revenue to share evenly across programs (I am sure formulas will need to be developed between schools and conferences). In general, Universities and Colleges need to create a salary cap based on the revenues. Hopefully, some athletes will also want to be students, given their chance to make a living as a professional athlete is slim.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 1 week ago

Andy - It is very good to read the linked story. Isaiah Wong might think he sees inequity within his own basketball team, but it doesn’t seem that he sees contracts very well. My guess is he might be nearsighted about life that isn’t enabled by a billionaire. Lots of players enter the portal never to be seen from again (50%?).

Edward Daub 2 months, 1 week ago

Nigel "leader of the" Pack.

Isaiah "what went" Wong.

Rock Chalk!

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