This afternoon, NCAA president Mark Emmert went on CBS’s Inside College Basketball to discuss the major Yahoo! Sports reports released in the last few days and the current state of the sport.
In the interview, Emmert said he sees major “systematic changes” coming to college basketball this summer.
He started by saying college basketball players should be allowed similar leeway as college baseball and hockey athletes when it comes to dealing with agents.
Clark Kellogg asked Emmert for his opinions on CBB having a different set of rules for players’ relationships with agents than baseball or hockey. Emmert: “It makes perfect sense to me that it ought to be very different than it is now” for CBB.
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) February 24, 2018
Emmert says he understands the frustrations of those wanting to see change, and they’re going to make that a point of emphasis going forward.
“No one wants to hear words, they want to see action, and I get that as much as anyone,” he said. “We’re serious about that, and I, along with the board of directors, are focused on really making a systemic change starting this Spring and going forward through this summer.”
In fact, Emmert says we will likely have new changes in place by the time college basketball tips off next fall.
“They’re going to be putting forth their recommendations and bringing them forward during the month of April, and then the boards are going to act on them and act on them quickly. We need to act and have changes in place before tipoff of next season. Failure to do that will really erode everyone’s confidence in what this wonderful game is truly all about,” he said.
As far as the current basketball season goes and the upcoming NCAA tournament, Emmert says they will act on eligibility concerns before Selection Sunday.
“By the time we get to Selection Sunday, we’ll have a much better handle on what’s going on with the current students so we have eligibility solutions in place for those who are and aren’t eligible,” said Emmert. “Everyone in the selection committee and the fans out there will really know what’s going on.”
Though the Yahoo! Sports report was troublesome, Emmert believes the vast majority of college basketball is well-behaved and those that are following the rules need to be recognized for that.
“The vast majority of coaches, and I believe this deeply, are behaving themselves and conducting themselves appropriately, as are the vast majority of student-athletes,” he said. “We need to recognize them for what they’re doing and their commitment and enjoy these great games.”
He finished the interview by saying those that violated the rules, “especially the adults,” will be held accountable for their actions.
“After the season is over, we’re going to go in and make changes to the nature of the rules and move forward. Especially the adults, we’re going to hold them accountable for their behavior.”
We’ve heard similar talk from Emmert in the past about “major changes” that never came to fruition, but hopefully the pressure of this latest nationwide scandal will (finally) force his hand.