Mark Emmert: Olympic Model Worth Considering, Schools Don't Want to Pay Players

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2018

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 30:  NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks with the media during a press conference for the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium on March 30, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

NCAA president Mark Emmert said Friday that an Olympic model, where student-athletes would be able to earn money through endorsement deals, will receive "serious consideration" following the wide-ranging college basketball scandal.

Emmert told Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press a commission to reform college basketball is expected to provide recommendations during a Division I Board of Directors meeting in late April, but he doesn't expect direct payment of players by schools will be an option.

"I haven't heard any universities say that they want to change amateurism to move into a model where student-athletes are paid by universities and universities are negotiating with agents for their relationships with a school," he said. "I would be surprised if the commission came forward with that kind of recommendation."

Emmert added he doesn't think collegiate sports are "in crisis" and that most things within NCAA programs are going "incredibly well," per Russo. He also thinks the changes made following the commission's feedback will lead to instant improvement:

"Yes, we've got these very serious issues which require serious change and they erode people's belief in the integrity of all college sports. That's a very serious problem and that's got to be addressed and we're doing that right now and I'm really optimistic that before basketball season next year we're going to have really meaningful change that makes this circumstance, if not completely go away, dramatically better than the problems that exist today."

In September, Shachar Peled of CNN reported the FBI arrested 10 people for their role in what acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim called the "dark underbelly of college basketball."

"All of those charged today contributed to a pay-to-play culture that has no business in college basketball," FBI New York division assistant director Bill Sweeney said.

A report from Pat Forde and Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports last month linked many of the nation's top basketball programs, including Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Michigan State, to alleged "impermissible benefits and preferential treatment" for players.

Emmert told the AP he hopes the scandal doesn't have a negative impact on the upcoming March Madness festivities, saying "I hope that it's possible that we can remember these are college kids playing a game that they love and that this is the moment of their lifetimes."

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