One of Mark Emmert's go-to lines when talking about his role as NCAA president and the extent of his power to lead the association is to explain how those outside college sports mistakenly believe his job is similar to that of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“That’s the worst metaphor you could possibly use. I’m more like the secretary-general of the United Nations. I oversee this process, I shape it,” Emmert told AP last summer in a lengthy interview.
Tom McMillen, the former Maryland basketball player and congressman who now leads the Lead1 association of Division I athletic directors, summed up the NCAA presidency this way: “The job is tough. Expectations without power.”
Emmert announced Tuesday he was stepping down from the job he has held for the past 12 years by June 2023, depending on how quickly a replacement is found.
Before the NCAA chooses its next president and determines the skills and characteristics it wants from a new leader, the decision-makers for the nation's largest governing body in college athltics must first decide what they want the NCAA to be and to do.
“I think it’s a little bit premature to define the characteristics you’d be looking for in a leader without really getting through whatever is described as the restructuring, transformation, re-reinvention process,” former Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said Wednesday.
The NCAA is in currently reshaping Division I —- the wealthiest and most prominent level of college sports, de-emphasizing the role of the national office and handing more power to conferences and schools. A new, streamlined constitution was ratified in January, opening the door for each of the NCAA's three divisions to govern themselves.
The Division I transformation committee, co-chaired by Southeastern Conference...