College football: NCAA president Mark Emmert has the right idea
Something has come over the NCAA, and that something is a new president. Mark Emmert seems to mean business.
An organization that seemingly has been lost in bureaucracy for decades has received a much-needed jolt from Emmert, late of the University of Washington and now determined to change the governing body over which he sits. Emmert convened a two-day presidential retreat in Indianapolis, and Emmert and the presidents emerged talking tough.
Streamlined rules. Identify the rules that are important and forget the ticky-tacky stuff that bogs down the enforcement branch of the NCAA. Then, stricter punishment for rule-breakers. No more letting ineligible players play in the Sugar Bowl, like the NCAA did with Ohio State vs. Arkansas last season. No more ignoring the big guns of bowl bans and television bans. Emmert also supports more enforcement officers. I’ve never understood why the NCAA didn’t employ better and tougher investigators. Too many young law school graduates; not enough retired FBI. Doesn’t seem all that complicated to me.
Also, Emmert is talking tougher admission standards for athletes. For 30 years, skeptics have decried the effect of tougher standards, but their warnings were hollow. High school athletes have mostly answered the challenge. Universities are recruiting better students. The academic baseline has been raised.
Now it’s time to implement the ideas. The NCAA Division I board of directors could begin approving some of the changes as early as this week.
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