Mark Emmert

Mark Emmert (AP Photo)

Mark Emmert calls UNC scandal ‘troubling’, ‘disturbing’, ‘shocking’

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Now that the Wainstein Report has been made public, the academic scandal that has hung over the head of North Carolina the last three years is now reaching the final stages. The NCAA is investigating the matter, and at some point they will be announcing what, if any, punishment will be handed down.

It’s an issues that the Tar Heel football and basketball programs will be anxiously waiting for. As Dan Wetzel so astutely pointed out last week, if the NCAA has any teeth left, they will be forced to bring the hammer down on UNC. Their defense in every lawsuit that is currently facing the organization is that college sports should be an academic endeavor first and foremost. They don’t have to pay the players for their athletic exploits, or even for the rights to their images and likenesses, because they should be just fine receiving an education as compensation.

UNC didn’t put in an effort to get these kids educated. They essentially allowed them to major in eligibility. Their punishment could end up being massive, and based on an interview NCAA president game to the Associated Press, it sounds like the NCAA is taking this seriously.

“Just based on the (Kenneth) Wainstein report, this is a case that potentially strikes at the heart of what higher education is about,” Emmert said Monday. “Universities are supposed to take absolutely most seriously the education of their students, right? I mean that’s why they exist, that’s their function in life. If the Wainstein report is accurate, then there was severe, severe compromising of all those issues, so it’s deeply troubling. … It’s absolutely disturbing that we find ourselves here right now.”

“When you look at what we all know today, the Wainstein report, and just based upon that,” Emmert added, “you look at the, I look at these facts, like everyone, and I find them shocking.”

How do you think the NCAA should punish UNC?

Mark Emmert’s $1.7 million salary is 46% more than his predecessor’s

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Mark Emmert is the president of an organization that forbids young athletes with a valuable, marketable talent from profiting off of their ability, and he gets paid handsomely for it.

According to a report from USA Today, Emmert’s salary in 2011, as listed on the NCAA’s tax return, was $1.674 million. COO Jim Isch earned $977,531.

Those numbers aren’t all that surprising, to be frank. Neither is the fact that in Emmert’s first full year on the job, he made 46% more than the man he succeeded, Myles Brand, did in his final year on the job. Isch’s salary was up more than $225,000 than it was the year before.

All the suits are getting massive raises as the NCAA’s revenues explode with the new round of TV deals.

And the players responsible for those deals?

They’re getting the same old scholarships they were 50 years ago.

Senate Commerce Committee grills NCAA president Mark Emmert

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Since it was announced that the Senate Commerce Committee would hold its meeting on the state of collegiate athletics on Wednesday, rescheduling a hearing originally scheduled to be held in May, one of the questions was how the committee would handle NCAA president Mark Emmert. The much-maligned Emmert serves as the face of the NCAA, acting on behalf of the institutions that he represents.

And in discussing his responsibilities as president Wednesday, Emmert opened himself up to a pointed remark/question from Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.

This was one of many key moments during Wednesday’s hearing, which consisted not only of criticisms of the current model but also questions/suggestions as to what can be done to improve the situation. Also of note during Sen. McCaskill’s comments was her referencing a study she’d done with regard to the way in which schools handle sexual assault cases.

According to the study more than 20 percent of institutions in the national sample provide no sexual assault response training at all for members of their faculty and staff, and more than 30 percent of schools do not provide any sexual assault training for students. Also of note was the finding that more than 20 percent of schools conducted fewer investigations than the number of incidents they reported to the Department of Education.

And there was also the fact that more than 20 percent of the schools allow their athletic departments to have oversight in incidents involving athletes.

In his testimony Emmert expressed his desire for multi-year scholarships (“scholarships for life”), something that some member schools have already made strides towards doing with Indiana and USC being two of the institutions, and the need to meet the full cost of attendance for scholarship athletes. Emmert wasn’t the only person to testify, with former Florida State football player Myron Rolle also participating, and Sen. Cory Booker used the word “exploitation” in offering his thoughts on the current state of college athletics.

It’s been stated that regardless of what the verdict handed down by Judge Claudia Wilken in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, changes are coming in collegiate athletics. If Wednesday’s hearing on Capitol Hill is any indication, more people with influence are looking to make sure that happens.

Report: Mark Emmert to testify at O’Bannon trial on Thursday

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NCAA president Mark Emmert is scheduled to testify in the O’Bannon v. NCAA trial on Thursday, according to a report from USA Today.

His appearance will not take the form of a typical cross-examination, however. As explained by the paper:

during a pre-trial conference there was an exchange between [U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken and the NCAA’s lead attorney Glenn Pomerantz in which the ground rules for Emmert’s appearance were made clear.

Pomerantz said, “We would agree that even if I don’t question Dr. Emmert about a certain subject matter when he testifies in our case, that they are free to go beyond the subject matter because that’s their examination in the case.”

Wilken replied, “That goes without saying.”

Pomerantz added, “That’s fair game and we understand that. … Let us do our full direct (examination) during our case. Let him respond to whatever they might have done in their case.”

Emmert’s appearance on the stand will be one of the seminal moments in a case that is the strongest legal attack against the NCAA’s business model to date. The president of the NCAA will defend, under oath, amateurism and the organization’s ability to cap the compensation that collegiate athletes are allowed to receive at a scholarship.

Mark Emmert to testify in O’Bannon anti-trust hearings

Could the NCAA’s Division I setup be in line for a change?

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The current structure of the NCAA is an interesting one, with their being three divisions (I, II and III) with separate championship systems. Obviously at the Division I level schools can give out more scholarships than Division II schools, and Division III schools don’t offer athletic scholarships.

But within Division I there’s quite the division between the “haves” and the “have-nots” with college football being the big reason why.

The revenue brought in by that sport had a major impact on conference realignment, and when the dust settled there were essentially five “major” conferences, with those leagues (the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) receiving that designation due to the fact that many of the sport’s most powerful programs reside in one of those five conferences.

That separation has also led to increased questioning of the current setup of the NCAA, and how that impacts the way in which schools are governed.

While the five conferences that reel in the most money would like to do things such as meeting the full cost of attendance for its scholarship athletes, getting that legislation through has been difficult due to smaller schools being concerned about their ability to afford such an expense. That led to the occasional idea that the five most powerful conferences could consider splitting off from the other Division I leagues, with the question being whether that would occur under the NCAA umbrella or if they would take their money and leave.

At the NCAA meetings in San Diego that was one of the topics discussed, and according to Yahoo! Sports we could be approaching the day when those five league are allowed to govern themselves while remaining part of the NCAA structure.

“It makes sense for the five big revenue conferences to have their own voice,” [NCAA President Mark] Emmert told Yahoo Sports Friday. “A year ago that would have been a very difficult conversation. Now [member schools] are saying, ‘Yeah, that makes sense.’ … People have just become more comfortable with the ideas and concepts of it.’ “

The process still will take time. Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch, the chair of the Division I Board of Directors, said there will be more focused discussion on the NCAA’s new governing structure in April, and individual conferences will then have a chance to discuss those findings at their spring meetings. Then the proposals can be put to a formal vote.

“We hope to have it wrapped up and approved by summer,” Hatch said.

According to the story 58% of the administrators in attendance were in favor of the five most powerful conferences having the ability to govern themselves, hence the thinking that this could be the way collegiate athletics is headed. But would this prohibit other leagues, like the American Athletic Conference or Mountain West for example, from taking up the same initiative(s) to better compensate student-athletes?

That’s just one of the questions administrators will need to address between now and the summer, with how much of a voice athletic directors should have in the governing of collegiate athletics moving forward being another. But just as the case was with conference realignment “the times they are a-changin’,” and athletic departments will have little choice but to adapt.

NCAA president Mark Emmert addresses Jay Bilas’ critiques of current system

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With some of the biggest names in collegiate athletics attending IMG’s Intercollegiate Athletics Forum in New York City, many of the major issues on the table were discussed. Among those issues were the possibility of giving scholarship athletes stipend to help cover the full cost of attendance, and how the NCAA members with the most influence can go about governing themselves in order to provide that additional help.

Of course other topics were broached as well, including NCAA president Mark Emmert’s thoughts on the critiques of the current system made by ESPN color commentator Jay Bilas. Bilas has been outspoken in his criticism of the NCAA and of Emmert specifically, arguing that the current system needs to be changed.

On Wednesday, Emmert offered up words regarding Bilas’ critiques of the system and how much knowledge the former Duke forward has when it comes to running an organization such as the NCAA.

Of course Bilas took to Twitter to issue his response to Emmert’s statements regarding his knowledge on how to run an organization such as the NCAA.

With there being so many issues that need to be addressed when evaluating the long-term viability of the NCAA, there won’t be a lack of conversation in the coming months. But how about these two, with a moderator of course, discuss these issues on television? I’d watch it, and it could prove to be more fruitful than simply going back and forth by way of the media.

h/t CBS Sports