Emmert of the NCAA: It’s time to decentralize college sports | Sports news

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By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer

NCAA President Mark Emmert said Thursday it was time to start thinking about a decentralized and deregulated version of college sports, shifting power to conferences and campuses, and rethinking the direction of schools.

Emmert said the recent Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA, along with the lifting of restrictions on athletes monetizing their fame, should act as a catalyst to “rethink” what college sports were all about.

In a 30-minute interview with a small group of reporters, Emmert emphasized that he was not making a mandate or even a recommendation. But he set out a vision for the future of college sport that places fewer boundaries on athletes and less emphasizes the role of a national governing body like the NCAA, which was founded 115 years ago and oversees more than 450,000 athletes.

“Having an environment like this just forces us to think more about what restrictions should ever apply to college athletes. And it should be the bare minimum, ”said Emmert.

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Emmert said the NCAA’s 1,100+ member schools should consider a less homogeneous approach to the way sport is governed and reconsider the current three-division structure, which includes 355 Division I colleges. The NCAA’s rules and regulations have long been criticized and the judicial challenges have increased in recent years.

“We have to be ready to say, ‘Yes, you know, field hockey is different from football. Wrestling is different from lacrosse, and you shouldn’t get hung up and everything is the same, ”said Emmert, who was president of the University of Washington before accepting the 2010 NCAA job.

Last month the NCAA lifted its rules prohibiting athletes from making money from their fame on things like online endorsements, sponsorship deals, and staff appearances.

The move allowed athletes to move to states that did not have so-called name, image, and likeness laws – which usurped previous NCAA restrictions – similar to states with NIL laws like Florida and Georgia.

In states that don’t have laws setting NIL guidelines, schools have been instructed to create their own – a dramatic change for the NCAA. Since July 1st, college athletes have been diving into the new market with deals big and small.

Last month’s Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA was also considered a bomb, a 9-0 decision upholding a lower court ruling in an antitrust proceeding related to compensation caps. Legal experts immediately wondered if the NCAA would consider other approaches as a result, and Emmert’s comments this week suggest that a change is certainly on the table.

“I think this is a really, really good time to sit back and look at a lot of the core assumptions and say, ‘You know, if we were to rebuild college sports, and in 2020 instead of 1920, what would it be? look? ‘”said Emmert. “What would we change? What would we expect or want to be different in the way we manage it. And that’s good. This is the right time. “

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