NCAA announces Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker as its next president

NCAA announces Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker as its next president

NCAA announces Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker as its next president

The NCAA has selected Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker as its next president, succeeding Mark Emmert.

Baker, a Republican who has been governor since January 2015 but will finish his second term in January, will begin his new job on March 1. . He spent most of his career in Massachusetts state government, but spent a decade in health care administration. Baker, 66, is a graduate of both Harvard and Northwestern.

In April, Emmert announced he was stepping down. He has led the NCAA since November 2010 and in April 2021 his contract was extended through 2025. Emmert will remain in an advisory role through June. Baker said he believes he is joining the organization at a “landmark” time for the NCAA, which is transforming how it governs college sports due to political and legal challenges to its business model.

“I think it’s worth doing,” Baker said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “It’s big and complicated, but so were a lot of the things I’ve done in my life. Most of the time they were absolutely worth doing.”

Linda Livingstone, chair of the NCAA Board of Governors and president of Baylor University, helped lead the search for a new president along with six others, including former Duke star basketball player Grant Hill, now co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. Livingstone said Baker stood out as a candidate for his experience building a bipartisan consensus during a time when the NCAA aims to “engage and motivate” Congress to create federal legislation that will empower the NCAA legal to regulate how college athletes are compensated. .

“We are thrilled to welcome Governor Charlie Baker to the NCAA and eager for him to begin his work with our organization,” Livingstone said in a statement. “Governor Baker has demonstrated a remarkable ability to bridge divides and build bipartisan consensus by tackling complex challenges in innovative and effective ways. As a former student-athlete himself, the husband of a former college gymnast, and the father of two former college football players, Governor Baker is deeply committed to our student-athletes and improving their collegiate experience.These skills and perspectives will be invaluable as we work with policy makers to build a sustainable model for the future of athletics university”.

Baker’s background in politics and politics fueled his candidacy, as the NCAA has faced several high-profile legal challenges in recent years. In 2021, the NCAA began allowing athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness, but rules vary from state to state as there is no federal policy, despite the desire of athletic directors and key conference commissioners . In a release announcing Baker’s hiring, the NCAA noted that “an untenable patchwork of individual state laws” limited his authority.

Baker told reporters on Thursday he wasn’t ready to go into more detail about some of the specific issues that are reshaping college sports, such as the increase in transfers between schools and the evolution of ways NCAA athletes can make money. He said his goal will be, in part, to make changes while preserving the part of college sports that he believes is “one of the greatest human potential development organizations ever conceived.”

Under Baker’s predecessor Emmert, the NCAA began making an effort to shift more power from its central national office in Indianapolis to individual divisions or conferences. Baker said he thinks this fits his experience, having spent much of his career working in “distributed decision models” of leadership.

“It’s about being a coordinator and contributor to a very large organization that has many viewpoints and trying to find those places where people can meet and can agree and can make a case…about which one is the best way to ensure we don’t miss out on this gem in the future.”

Baker, whose term as governor ends Jan. 5, said he plans to attend this year’s NCAA convention in mid-January so he can begin building relationships and develop a better understanding of the organization he will soon lead.

ESPN’s Dan Murphy contributed to this report

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