Office of the President

Thirteen months ago, when revelations from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York shook the world of college basketball, the NCAA acted quickly to address the serious threats to the sport made apparent in the FBI investigation. The question we faced was not whether we could or would address the problems; it was whether we as an Association were capable of working swiftly and decisively. Would we head into another basketball season with a pall of corruption hanging over a sport that means so much to fans and provides opportunities to so many students?

Today, we can look back on the past months of intense study, thoughtful discussion and frenzied legislation writing that led to the changes we’ve committed to so far. And we have an answer to the question that was posed by skeptics, critics and even those of us who work in college sports each day: Is the NCAA capable of moving quickly and responsibly when serious action is needed? Our actions over the past year have demonstrated that the clear answer is yes.

Work remains to be done. We have created a framework, but we continue the work of developing the intricate details that will lay the foundation for the future of college basketball. We must continue to focus on the goal of creating a clean, fair landscape for the sport and adjusting to what comes our way.

Yet we should not move too quickly past this moment. The recommendations from the Commission on College Basketball, formed in the wake of the FBI investigation and chaired by Dr. Condoleezza Rice, fostered crucial conversations among our members. Those conversations focused on the values of the NCAA and our individual and collective roles in doing what’s right for students. We need to continuously focus on our commitment to making all of college sports better.

Making all of college sports better doesn’t stop with addressing issues in one specific sport. It means using the same sense of urgency that was used with men’s basketball to step up to challenges such as student-athlete mental health, sexual violence prevention and the adoption of inclusive hiring practices.

I am incredibly proud of our ability to move quickly from discussions to action, with an eye toward continuous improvement. We have made a significant impact and taken steps to restore the public trust of college sports, but we shouldn’t rest on these accomplishments alone. It will take all of us to continue moving forward. As we pivot to complete the next steps of reshaping college basketball, let’s make sure we harness the momentum that got us this far.

Mark Emmert
NCAA President