SBD/April 9, 2013/Colleges

Columnist: NCAA Leadership May Need Structural Change, Adding More Top Officials

Emmert recently came under fire for the NCAA's handling of the Miami investigation
College sports is "as popular as ever, but the issues surrounding it have never been more complicated," according to William Rhoden of the N.Y. TIMES. The NCAA President's Commission was formed in '84 "in response to criticism that big-time intercollegiate athletics was out of control, largely because college presidents had ceded too much autonomy to athletic interests." Former NCAA President Gene Corrigan said, “Boards of trustees started telling the president, ‘You’ve got to get involved.' Are there any fewer problems now? I don’t think so. Has there ever been a time in intercollegiate athletics when there haven’t been some problems? We put the presidents in charge. Now, when I look back on it, I really think the presidents were better off when they weren’t in there actively the way they are.” What has "become clear is that the job of NCAA president has become too large for one person." The president "needs a second in command." Some say "a third and a fourth person are needed as well." Syracuse Univ. Chancellor Nancy Cantor said, "If the NCAA president comes from the university world, you would have, say, a media person sitting at the table or you have somebody from business sitting at the table or somebody from the community sitting at the table." The solution for NCAA leadership "would appear to be a combination" of athletic interests and "the president-led model." Corrigan: "If you’re in that position and you’re a former president, then the person you have next to you needs to be somebody who has been out there in the field working at a university in an athletic department who understands that this is a whole other part of the world." Rhoden writes current NCAA President Mark Emmert has "done the best he can, but in intercollegiate athletics, he essentially is fighting an army of dragons with a switch blade" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/9).
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