New NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert Can’t Change the BCS
April 29, 2010 – 6:00 am by Paul Bessire
A newly named NCAA President who has previously, publicly declared his positive feelings towards the inevitability of a college football playoff apparently means nothing. Dr. Mark Emmert, the current President of the University of Washington has been tabbed as the next chief of the NCAA. He is set to take over sometime in the fall – likely around September 1st. Emmert has long valued the place that athletics have in their relationship with higher education – and know that’s his job description.
But college football fans who want a playoff (also known as college football fans), need not perk up or get excited about the event. Emmert is merely a facilitator to the needs of the university presidents of member schools with regards to their athletics. That’s a fancy way to say that he is essentially powerless – at least when it comes to big things like college football playoffs or conference affiliation.
So, we’ll have to continue to take up the college football playoff charge with the broad group that encompasses university presidents. Oh well. But it’s still inevitable, right Dr.?
Dr. Mark Emmert joined Ian Furness on KJR in Seattle to discuss being selected NCAA President, a college football playoff, the APR, and the role of the athletics in academics.
On the process of being selected NCAA President:
“It was a very quick process. As you are well aware, the NCAA and higher education lost a great guy when Myles Brand passed away in the fall. The NCAA began a search at the time. I hadn’t thought much about it. I was approached awhile later and started to think about it. As time went on, it became apparent to me that this could be a really, really exciting fit. I was lucky enough to come back here and meet with a search committee of some presidents from around the NCAA. I finished the interview and, an hour and a half later, was offered the job. It was a no-brainer to take the job.”
On the NCAA’s role in deciding if there is a college football playoff:
“The football playoff system is a creature of the university presidents that are out there – and that’s rightly so and that’s the way it remains. The NCAA, with me as president, my position will be to work with those presidents in any way that is useful to them. It’s not a topic that the NCAA is going to be driving. Does the NCAA know how to run championships? Yeah, they’re great at it. That’s one of things they do really well. So they can be of service as people think about this question. At the end of the day, it’s not for me to decide. It’s going to be up to the presidents. The role of the NCAA is to both be a leader and a servant.”
On what he thinks is the best approach for a college football playoff:
“I’m not going to tell you. The fact is that there is Mark Emmert’s personal opinions and then there is the President of the NCAA. And in that role, it’s not my personal opinions that matter any more.”
On the APR:
“I am incredibly supportive of it. The academic reforms that have occurred in the last 7-8 years have had a tremendous impact on the conversation about intercollegiate athletics and the way that we think about them. The shear fact that we are having this conversation right now is something that ten years ago would not have occurred. Do we need to constantly look at and determine how effective those metrics are and what their impact is on the academic performance of our students? You bet we do. And I’m going to be really aggressive on working with all of our member institutions on finding the right metrics and driving forward success in that arena. I’m a real bull when it comes to all of the academic reform process that’s going on.”
And on his approach to sports athletics in higher education:
“For me, it’s always been the case that academics and athletics go together really well. Here we have 400,000 student athletes across the whole country that the NCAA gets to shape both their academic and athletics experiences. To me, this is just allows me to have a bigger impact on more young people across the country and that’s just really exciting.”
Listen to Mark Emmert on KJR in Seattle with Ian Furness.Tags: BCS, College Football Playoff, Mark Emmert, Myles Brand, NCAA, NCAA President, University of Washington
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