Emmert has full plate at his first NCAA convention

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Mark Emmert has a plan for how he wants to lead the Indianapolis-based NCAA.

He would like to get tougher on rule-breakers. He plans to expand the push for academic reforms started by the late Myles Brand. He's been willing to speak with the pro sports leagues and the player unions to weed out questionable agents, and he's even supporting emergency legislation to prevent more Cam Newton-type cases.

Yes, Emmert has a full plate as he prepares for the NCAA's annual convention in San Antonio — his first as president.

Emmert took over from interim president Jim Isch in October, and don't expect him to spend Thursday's state of the association speech on small-ticket items.

There's too much at stake.

For starters, there was the backlash from the Newton case. The NCAA ruled Newton could continue to play even though his father had been seeking money from schools that were recruiting him.

Emmert explained there were was no evidence to suggest Auburn or the player were aware of what was going on and under the current rules, the NCAA could not take action against Newton.

A few weeks later, he told a small group of national basketball writers that the NCAA could adopt emergency legislation to deal with these sorts of cases, and the NCAA's Board of Directors will get their first chance to do that this week.

The need for a new rule apparently stems from Emmert's reported mid-December comment: "Who is an agent and who is a third party and how do you define that? Is it a registered agent? A financial adviser? A counselor, an uncle, an AAU coach? Who is representing you?"

Newton won the Heisman Trophy and, on Monday night, his Auburn Tigers won the national championship.

College football was rocked this season by a series of scandals involving improper contacts between agents and players. There were also several documented cases of players selling jerseys and championship rings, which also ran afoul of NCAA rules. Emmert would like to find ways to avoid a repeat.

There are also several proposals that could have a dramatic effect college basketball. Among the possibilities are eliminating summer recruiting, moving the date players can withdraw from the draft and return to school from late May to mid-April, and barring coaches from making scholarship offers before the summer of a prep player's junior and senior seasons.

It's unclear whether the basketball proposals will be voted on this week.

What could pass? New academic standards requiring schools to evaluate the academic transcripts of incoming freshmen and require at-risk basketball players to earn three credit hours during summer classes. Schools would then have to assess transcripts of all basketball players, incoming freshmen and upperclassmen, to determine who needs to take hours during the summer semester.

Another proposal would require football players to earn at least nine credit hours during the fall semester (eight at a school with quarters) to be eligible the following fall.

"What I have seen as a university president is that the culture of the football and basketball programs on campuses has had a really important shift," Emmert, a former University of Washington president, said in October. "As we move forward, we have to continue to imbed that deeply into the culture of athletic programs and we still have a ways to go."

There could also be a vote on new regulations intended to tighten the use of college athletes in promotional activities and another that would prohibit players from opting out of the sickle-cell trait test. Current rules allow players to take the test, provide written documentation that they have taken the test or sign a release to opt out.

Emmert also is slated to participate in a panel discussion about gender violence and how the NCAA can help reduce the amount of incidents among college athletes, so it will be a busy week for the new NCAA president.

"I've talked a great deal about the need to stay focused on the student-athlete and make sure everyone stays focused on the student-athlete and the academic progress of the student-athletes," he told The Associated Press in September. "Also, I want to see what the opportunities are to expand the interaction of what the organization can do beyond the sports world."


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Hiking blocks to an office after fighting traffic is not logical. Having office buildings around the loop, 465 and in cities in surrounding counties is logical. In other words, counties around Indianapolis need office buildings like Keystone, Meridian, Michigan Road/College Park and then no need to go downtown. Financial, legal, professional businesses don't need the downtown when Carmel, Fishers, North Indy are building their own central office buildings close to the professionals. The more Hamilton, Boone county attract professionals, the less downtown is relevant. Highrises have no meaning if they don't have adequate parking for professionals and clients. Great for show, but not exactly downtown Chicago, no lakefront, no river to speak of, and no view from highrises of lake Michigan and the magnificent mile. Indianapolis has no view.

  2. "The car count, THE SERIES, THE RACING, THE RATINGS, THE ATTENDANCE< AND THE MANAGEMENT, EVERY season is sub-par." ______________ You're welcome!

  3. that it actually looked a lot like Sato v Franchitti @Houston. And judging from Dario's marble mouthed presentation providing "color", I'd say that he still suffers from his Dallara inflicted head injury._______Considering that the Formula E cars weren't going that quickly at that exact moment, that was impressive air time. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, as Dallara is the only car builder that needs an FAA certification for their cars. But flying Dallaras aren't new. Just ask Dan Wheldon.

  4. Does anyone know how and where I can get involved and included?

  5. While the data supporting the success of educating our preschoolers is significant, the method of reaching this age group should be multi-faceted. Getting business involved in support of early childhood education is needed. But the ways for businesses to be involved are not just giving money to programs and services. Corporations and businesses educating their own workforce in the importance of sending a child to kindergarten prepared to learn is an alternative way that needs to be addressed. Helping parents prepare their children for school and be involved is a proven method for success. However, many parents are not sure how to help their children. The public is often led to think that preschool education happens only in schools, daycare, or learning centers but parents and other family members along with pediatricians, librarians, museums, etc. are valuable resources in educating our youngsters. When parents are informed through work lunch hour workshops in educating a young child, website exposure to exceptional teaching ideas that illustrate how to encourage learning for fun, media input, and directed community focus on early childhood that is when a difference will be seen. As a society we all need to look outside the normal paths of educating and reaching preschoolers. It is when methods of involving the most important adult in a child's life - a parent, that real success in educating our future workers will occur. The website www.ifnotyouwho.org is free and illustrates activities that are research-based, easy to follow and fun! Businesses should be encouraging their workers to tackle this issue and this website makes it easy for parents to be involved. The focus of preschool education should be to inspire all the adults in a preschooler's life to be aware of what they can do to prepare a child for their future life. Fortunately we now know best practices to prepare a child for a successful start to school. Is the business community ready to be involved in educating preschoolers when it becomes more than a donation but a challenge to their own workers?