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Accountability, Control and Oversight

During the opening session, NCAA President Mark Emmert sat down for a wide-ranging interview on the current state of affairs of his admittedly ‘weird’ decision-making organization. With realignment continuing to be a hot topic, Emmert was concerned with the big picture. “The unintended collateral damage is an erosion of the trust that used to exist between presidents of institutions and fellow ADs,” he said. “When you run a conference, you have to have some level of trust. If you make a commitment to (stay), and you suspect that the person you just made a commitment to is now in the hallway trying to get out of a conference, that’s a tough relationship. This has cost people’s friendships and congenialities and I’m really concerned about that.”

From the Office of the President

Mark Emmert, NCAA
Harvey Perlman, Nebraska
Nathan Hatch, Wake Forest

Emmert was later joined on a panel by Univ. of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Wake Forest Univ. President Nathan Hatch, who voiced their opinions on recent additions to their respective conferences. “We brought in two great academic institutions and we spread the footprint of the Big Ten,” said Perlman. “Obviously, we entered markets that are great for media revenue.” Perlman also was skeptical that Maryland’s $50 million exit fee is enforceable.
Hatch said he was sorry to see Maryland exit the ACC for financial reasons, but is excited about the additions of Notre Dame and Louisville. “It’s too bad to disrupt these deep, historic ties” he said, “but I understand fully why (Maryland) did it.” Emmert concluded that he can’t answer whether realignment is good overall for college sports.BCS Playoffs

Perlman, who also serves on the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, provided some interesting insight into the upcoming BCS playoff system. While a revenue-sharing model has been agreed on, no site has been decided on yet, and he knows that there will still be opponents to the system. “Controversy is not going to go away,” he said. “There’s enormous pressure to extend to 8 and 16 schools. I don’t think it’s particularly stable over the next 12 years.”


Emmert talked making dramatic revisions to the NCAA Rulebook and his hopes of having them in place a year from now. Hatch is looking for a “focus to move to common sense principles. The rule book is so big and complicated that it needs a refresh.” Perlman added that no matter what, “You can’t level the playing field in recruiting.”

Should Big 5 conferences make a break from the NCAA?

“If BCS schools or any other schools decide they’d be better served by having their own association, then they can and should go do that,” Emmer said. “That means that the NCAA has failed in some fashion, and as a university president, I wouldn’t want to be a part of an organization that’s failing.” But Emmert noted some of the challenges that would come with creating a new organization. “You’d have to start your own enforcement arm, replicate all the championships and recreate all the arms of the NCAA,” he said, “but just do it in a way that serves your own purposes better.” Hatch stated he’s opposed to setting up a whole new system.

Quick Hits from Emmert:

On progress at the NCAA: “Is progress happening as fast as I think is prudent? Yeah, I do. These things do require a good, thoughtful conversation. We are a very weird organization. We have 1,100 members. We have twice as many votes as Congress.”

On the legacy of Penn State: “A better support structure around university presidents and ADs. Making sure there is no existential threat to a president to say no to a coach.”

On transparency of the NCAA: “The whole issue of transparency in big organizations generally is a social phenomenon now because of changes that are happening in society. Are we as transparent as some people would like? No. We’re not as transparent as I would like, but we’re much more so than we used to be and we’re working hard on that.”

On the failure of the attendance stipend: “I knew it was highly controversial, I didn’t anticipate the reaction it provoked. We didn’t do good diligence on this proposal.”

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NCAA, Opinion, Media

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