Mark Emmert will continue to be the face of the NCAA.
The college sports governing body announced Thursday night that Emmert's contract had been extended through 2025. Emmert has been the NCAA's president since 2010 and the man at the forefront of the defense of the NCAA's outdated amateurism model.
Emmert's tenure as NCAA president hasn't been a smooth or popular one. And he's cost it a lot of money. Emmert infamously extended the NCAA's NCAA tournament television contract in 2016 while there were still eight years left on the deal. As Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel noted in March, the decision likely cost the NCAA and its member schools over $3 billion. The NCAA basketball tournaments are the main source of revenue for the NCAA and its schools.
Thamel's story about the horrible TV contract decision highlighted Emmert's "failed" tenure as NCAA president. Later that month, another story by Thamel cited many in college athletics who expressed displeasure for the way Emmert was running the NCAA.
“The level of trust and confidence is deteriorating. There has not been a more critical time for leadership in the association,” a high-ranking college official told Thamel.
The trust across the NCAA — at least among its board of governors — clearly hadn't deteriorated enough for Emmert to not get a contract extension. Though it's worth noting that the NCAA buried the news of Emmert's extension in a press release that included seven topics.
Emmert's contract extension was listed under "Other Business" and just ahead of the "Future Meeting Schedule" subhead in a press release titled "Board reaffirms commitment to updating name, image and likeness rules."
NCAA still hasn't finalized NIL specifics
Emmert has been the face of the NCAA as it's dawdled on that name, image and likeness reform. The NCAA is currently scrambling to figure out how it can update its rules to allow students to take endorsement and sponsorship money.
The NCAA's inability to be proactive regarding athlete rights blew up in its face when state legislatures across the country started introducing bills that would make it permissible for college athletes to make money off their image rights. Faced with myriad varying state rules governing athlete income, the NCAA is asking the federal government to help provide the framework for its rules.
More recently, Emmert was the one tasked with attempting to explain the disparities in accommodations for men's basketball teams at the men's NCAA tournament in Indianapolis and the women's NCAA tournament in San Antonio.
The contract extension also comes after Emmert was mentioned as a potential candidate for the open president position at scandal-plagued LSU.
On April 20, the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report wrote that "multiple sources familiar with the situation say back channel but legitimate efforts are under way to try to recruit former LSU Chancellor and current NCAA President and CEO Mark Emmert for the position."
Emmert was the school's chancellor from 1999-2004 before going to Washington and was in charge at LSU when the school hired Nick Saban from Michigan State. The Business Report also noted that LSU athletic director Scott Woodward's stepson is also married to Emmert's daughter.
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