Mark Emmert has only been the NCAA president for four months, yet he is already making strides to improve communication with the media and the public.
Emmert discussed some of his ideas at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Saturday night before a number of Associated Press sports editors.
He spoke to the journalists about how he wants the media and NCAA to work together “so that we can raise the level of understanding on our side and on your side about what these process[es] are and what they aren’t.”
So what exactly are some of these policies he is referring to? One in particular is the idea of pay-for-play, dealing with the NCAA’s policy of ensuring that players receive no form of compensation as an incentive to play for a specific university.
This past season, there was a lot of discussion about Auburn quarterback, and Heisman Trophy winner, Cam Newton. Newton’s father, Cecil, was believed by the NCAA to have sought money from Mississippi State. The NCAA determined his son had no involvement, and he thus remained eligible throughout the season. He later led Auburn to a national championship.
“We try to get it right every time,” Emmert said. “The cases we saw this fall were highly controversial and highly debatable. I understand that, and some of them were even enormously frustrating to me.”
When Emmert was asked about college athletes being paid, he replied with, “No, it will not happen- not while I’m president of the NCAA.”
Emmert is considering holding a mock hearing and allowing media members to participate to further help them understand NCAA processes.
Emmert is the NCAA’s fifth president after previously serving as the president at the University of Washington.