Era of change: Mark Emmert’s tenure at NCAA

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Mark Emmert

The 12-year tenure of NCAA President Mark Emmert is filled with change and controversy. Revenue for the Indianapolis-based organization climbed to more than $1 billion a year. But the organization also faced increasing attacks in court and from politicians. It has led to one of the most controversial and active tenures in the history of the NCAA. Emmert has agreed to step down no later than June 2023.

Here are some highlights from his tenure:

April 2010: Mark Emmert, president of the University of Washington, is named the fifth NCAA president. He takes over on Oct. 5, 2010.

July 2012: Emmert and the NCAA announce a $60 million penalty, postseason bans and scholarship reductions against Penn State University over the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. The fine and some of the penalties are later rolled back amid criticism of the NCAA’s role.

October 2013: NCAA officials punish Miami for lack of institutional control over its men’s basketball and football programs. It acknowledged during the investigation that the organization used improper methods to collect evidence.

August 2014: The Division I Board of Directors restructures how schools and conferences govern themselves, paving the way for athletes to have a voice. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken rules in favor of former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon that NCAA rules “unreasonably restrain trade in the market for certain educational and athletic opportunities.” The NCAA loses an appeal.

April 2016: The NCAA announces an eight-year, $8.8 billion extension of its multimedia rights agreement with CBS Sports and Turner for the Division I men’s basketball tournament.

October 2017: Emmert says the American public has lost confidence in the NCAA after it failed to punish North Carolina after an investigation into academic fraud that found athletes took classes that required little or no effort to pass for 18 years.

January 2018: Emmert defends the NCAA’s position on sexual assaults following a report he ignored sexual-assault allegations in 2010 at Michigan State where Dr. Larry Nassar worked. Nassar was later convicted of multiple sexual assaults involving young girls.

March 2020: Just days before Selection Sunday, the NCAA cancels the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 2021: Players and coaches at the women’s college basketball tournament complain about the inequities when compared to the men’s tournament. Emmert apologizes and orderes a review.

June 2021: The Supreme Court rules unanimously that the NCAA cannot impose caps on education-related benefits schools provide to athletes because it violates antitrust law, a decision experts predict could topple the current collegiate sports model. A few weeks alter, the NCAA clears the way for athletes to earn compensation based on their name, image or likeness.

July 2021: Emmert tells The Associated Press it is time to consider a decentralized and deregulated version of college sports, shifting power to conferences and campuses.

November 2021: NCAA holds a special constutional convention to overhaul its bedrock document.

January 2022: NCAA membership approves a new constitution giving significant authority to the three divisions to reorganize.

April 2022: Emmert and the NCAA announce that he will step down by mutual consent.

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