NCAA President Mark Emmert acknowledged Monday that the next year would be one of sweeping change for college sports. According to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com), Emmert said:
"I've said publicly on a number of occasions the only thing everybody agrees on with Division I governance is that it doesn't work," Emmert said during his opening remarks at a meeting of more than 100 Division I faculty athletics representatives. He later said NCAA directors are looking at the next six to eight months in particular.
"I think the board anticipates a lot of change," he said. "They're going into their October and January meetings expecting to look at a whole different governance model for Division I. So it will be significantly different."
This comes on the heels of a tumultuous few weeks for the NCAA, which first saw the release of "The Dirty Game," Sports Illustrated's investigative report on misconduct at Oklahoma State, and was followed by two separate reports of former SEC players (including All-Pro NFL running back Arian Foster) receiving impermissible benefits while in college.
Issues like player compensation and concussion research have long since come to a head, and the NCAA can only ignore them for so long.
This past weekend, in conjunction with the National College Players Association, a few players at Georgia Tech, Georgia and Northwestern, wore the letters A-P-U—"All Players United"—on wristbands to protest how college sports are being run by the NCAA.
The NCAA has faced criticism beyond those hot-button issues, including a mishandled investigation after alleged misconduct at Miami.
The AP report makes no mention of specifics, and Emmert will likely continue his use of political language to avoid saying exactly what needs to be fixed. He can speak at length without actually saying anything—it's one of his finest gifts.
But eventually, after enough time, the NCAA will find itself in a circumstance it can't avoid. Have we finally reached that moment?
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