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SBD/August 10, 2011/Colleges
Emmert Bullish On Opportunity For NCAA Changes After First Day Of Retreat
Published August 10, 2011
YES WE CAN: The AP's Michael Marot noted Emmert "wants to cash in on the appetite for change that has been sweeping through major college athletics," and if he "can pull this off, it would mark a dramatic turn in the NCAA's legislative cycle, where proposals can take a year or more to become rules and some simply fade into oblivion." What Emmert "really wants is a governing body that can quickly pivot from issue to issue to solve problems, something that is difficult to do under current bylaws." There are "concerns about increasing the scholarship money allotted to athletes." Emmert acknowledged that there "could be potential problems with competitive balance if one school can give a player more money because it costs more to attend." Marot noted "another problem could arise if some conferences, or some schools, provide the full cost and others do not." But Emmert "left little doubt that member schools support the move" (AP, 8/9). ESPN.com's Tim Keown noted the "underlying theme of Emmert's summit meeting is making the 'student' part of the 'student-athlete' a bit more prominent," and he should be given credit for broaching "some necessary and long-overdue topics." Ohio Univ. professor David Ridpath said, "I haven't been very kind to Mark Emmert. But I'm going to give him credit for at least trying. He's getting this group together and talking -- it's a noble idea." Keown added, "Mostly, the problems in college sports can be distilled to one word: image. It's not amateurism or academic integrity -- it's how things look. University presidents want to rid themselves of the problems that the current system created, but that's because it's difficult and embarrassing to deal with the aftermath" (ESPN.com, 8/9).
COMMUNICATION 101: In N.Y., Pete Thamel reports college coaches and recruits contend that Facebook "accounts for 50 percent of their recruiting interaction," while Twitter is "second and gaining ground." The shift toward social media "has come partly because the NCAA barred coaches from text-messaging athletes in 2007, citing their effect on recruits’ cellphone bills as one reason." NCAA rules stipulate that coaches "are free to e-mail an athlete through Facebook’s in-box function, but they cannot use Facebook’s instant messaging or write on his public wall." On Twitter, coaches "may send direct messages to players but not public messages." But Thamel notes recruits "receive Facebook and Twitter messages on their cellphones in the same form as text messages, which is why the coaches are puzzled about the ban on texting." Univ. of Colorado football coach Jon Embree said, "That’s the one thing I think the NCAA needs to be better at. I don’t think they can get hold of this technology." The NCAA Leadership Council last week said that it "had reached consensus on deregulating electronic communications between coaches and athletes." The council said that it "hoped to present its proposal to the board of directors in October" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/10).