NCAA
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 Talks College Athletics

On Friday, NCAA president Mark Emmert joined Sports Scene and provided his insight into the changing realm of college sports. Emmert, who has been the president of the NCAA since 2010, spoke about the prodding issues of current college athletics.

Name, Image and Likeness

“Confused, to say the least,” is how Emmert described the current state of affairs in college athletics. In July 2021, the Division I Board of Directors put into effect a name, image and likeness (NIL) policy. The policy allows college athletes to be compensated for their brand as a player, which led to both praise and criticism. Many supported athletes’ abilities to be rewarded for their skills, but others pointed out the lack of restrictions within the policy. Emmert explained how the NCAA is unable to impose a uniform set of rules over college sports because of conflicting state laws across the nation. Due to the disagreements, the NCAA is calling on Congress to impose a set of guidelines at the federal level to make a unified set of rules.

Emmert stresses the impact athletes have on a school, saying “It makes great sense to recognize the effort of college athletes that is used to build the brand of a school.”

Because college athletics plays a proven role in the growth of a school, athletes becoming employees of their respective schools was proposed. Emmert is not a fan. He believes that the rewards players earn from name, image and likeness deals satisfy their role in promoting a school. Emmert said he supports universities spreading out compensation from NIL deals to their athletes instead of employing them.

The Transfer Portal

Emmert also spoke about the transfer policies in the NCAA. The NCAA allows immediate eligibility for transferring athletes, a new policy instituted in 2021. The combination of NIL deals and the immediate eligibility of transferring students have posed issues in college sports, particularly college football. Schools are able to leverage NIL deals and recruit players to transfer to their squad which allows these players to play immediately. Emmert said that the balance between NIL and the transfer portal “needs some guard rails.” These policies have not only massively altered college sports, but they’ve changed athletic staffs’ approach to recruiting.

The future of the NCAA

Emmert said he will be replaced no later than June 30, as the NCAA is searching for a new president. In spite of the multitude of dissensions across college athletics, Emmert is proud of his accomplishments during his presidency.

Before he departs, Emmert still hopes to move college sports forward. He is focusing on decreasing the inequities between schools, supporting student-athletes and giving proper judgment towards universities and athletes.

About Alex Winn

Sports Journalism student at the University of Florida.

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