Emmert: NCAA To Revisit Stipends, But No Support For Concept Of Paying Athletes
NCAA President Mark Emmert yesterday said that the organization's leadership is "likely to revive as early as spring 2014 the issue of so-called $2,000 'stipends' for athletes at Division I full-scholarship universities," according to Rich Kirchen of the MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The NCAA BOD has "twice approved the payments." However, Emmert said that the BOD "postponed the plan after 160 of the 350 Division I member schools sought to block the proposal and agreed to make modifications." Emmert, who made his comments during an "On the Issues" forum at Marquette Law School’s Eckstein Hall, said that "most of the NCAA member university presidents opposed to the stipend were concerned about the cost." He "believes the concept of paying athletes like professionals will remain out of the question" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/16). Emmert said, "One of the things that sets the fundamental tone is there are very few members, and virtually no university presidents -- well, there’s none that I have heard from -- that think that it is a good idea to convert student-athletes into paid employees, into literally professionals. Then you would have something very different in collegiate athletics." Emmert was "asked if university presidents might change their opinions about that, if public opinion might play a role in changing their minds." He replied, "I would be very surprised if they changed their opinion on that issue" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/17).
REBUILDING PROJECT: The AP's Nancy Armour noted commissioners from the "most powerful conferences and big-market schools have called for an overhaul" of the NCAA's governance structure. Emmert said that the BOD "plans to begin discussions at its meeting next month," followed by a "day-and-a-half forum that will give the entire membership a chance to formulate options" at the NCAA's national convention. The BOD "hopes to adopt proposals at its meeting next April, then have a special meeting for the full membership next summer." Emmert: "That could involve bringing all 350 members of Division I together and having every school vote on it. It'll be a bit like a constitutional convention." Emmert added that while there has been "talk the largest schools could form their own 'super division,' no one is threatening to leave the NCAA" (AP, 9/16).