Head of NCAA Stepping Down Amid Controversy

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a massive college sports league. Americans love to watch all the action and follow their favorite players, coming out of more than a thousand schools across the country.

Now, big news is coming out about NCAA President Mark Emmert, who has recently made the decision to leave his job. This comes amid a fair bit of controversy for the outgoing chief, who’s been plagued by various scandals and disagreements.

Why is Emmert Leaving?

Emmert is already approved to stay on until 2025, but he’s decided to hang up the gloves now instead. He says it’s a “good time” to leave as the NCAA goes through a number of transitions and changes.

Emmert has been criticized by many for the way he’s led the NCAA, most of all for his attempt to block students from getting any money for their careers.

In fact, Emmert took his position all the way to the Supreme Court to try to block players from getting paid, which they now do via social media accounts and endorsements.

Specifically, the debate is whether athletes deserved to get a portion of the massive money their schools made from their image and likeness.

Emmert was also controversial for not doing more to make rules protecting students who got injured and for treating men and women’s NCAA teams unequally.

Emmert is being replaced by the former Republican Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker.

‘Incredibly Proud’

Defending his record, Emmert says he’s “incredibly proud” of everything he’s done while heading up the NCAA.

Students have seen continual “improvement” in how the league backs up their interests and stands by them according to him. Emmert also said he worked to get NCAA athletes to have their voices heard more on the leadership level.

There’s no doubt that trying to keep the peace at the national level of such a large job is no easy task. As the league changes and grows in many ways, Baker will undoubtedly have a very difficult job ahead of him.

What’s Next?

Baker takes over next month and has big plans for the future of the NCAA, including increasing its profitability even more.

The league is very profitable and was already coming back from the pandemic slump last year, raking in over $1.1 billion in revenue.

The league will likely have some discussions about how to get all their money in order and more controversies are sure to come up.

As long as Baker’s a huge sports fan and has plenty of energy and dedication, he should do a good job, but the chances of controversies erupting around him as they did for Emmert is definitely high.

Good luck at the top, Charlie.

This article appeared in StatesmanPost and has been published here with permission.