The NCAA has chosen Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker as its subsequent president, succeeding Mark Emmert.
Baker, a Republican who has been governor since January 2015 however will conclude his second time period in January, will start his new publish March 1. He performed energy ahead for Harvard’s basketball crew through the 1977-78 season, however has no earlier collegiate administrative expertise. He has spent most of his profession in Massachusetts state authorities however spent a decade in well being care administration. The 66-year previous Baker holds levels from each Harvard and Northwestern.
In April, Emmert introduced he could be stepping down. He has led the NCAA since November 2010 and in April 2021 had his contract prolonged by means of 2025. Emmert will stay in an advisory function till June. Baker mentioned he believes he is becoming a member of the group at a “pivotal” time for the NCAA, which is within the course of of reworking the way in which it governs school sports activities due to political and authorized challenges to its enterprise mannequin.
“I think it’s worth doing,” Baker mentioned in a information convention Thursday afternoon. “It’s big and complicated, but so have been 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’s board of governors and Baylor College president, helped lead the seek for a brand new president together with six others, together with former Duke standout basketball participant Grant Hill, now co-owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. Livingstone mentioned Baker stood out as a candidate due to his monitor document of constructing bipartisan consensus throughout a time when the NCAA is aiming to “engage and motivate” Congress to create federal laws that can give the NCAA authorized clearance to control how school athletes are compensated.
“We are excited to welcome Governor Charlie Baker to the NCAA and eager for him to begin his work with our organization,” Livingstone mentioned in an announcement. “Governor Baker has shown a remarkable ability to bridge divides and build bipartisan consensus, taking on complex challenges in innovative and effective ways. As a former student-athlete himself, husband to a former college gymnast, and father to two former college football players, Governor Baker is deeply committed to our student-athletes and enhancing their collegiate experience. These skills and perspective will be invaluable as we work with policymakers to build a sustainable model for the future of college athletics.”
Baker’s background in politics and coverage fueled his candidacy, because the NCAA has confronted a number of high-profile authorized challenges in recent times. In 2021, the NCAA started permitting athletes to revenue off of their title, picture and likeness, however the guidelines differ between states as there is no such thing as a federal coverage, regardless of a want from athletic administrators and main convention commissioners. In a launch saying Baker’s rent, the NCAA famous “untenable patchwork of individual state laws” have restricted its authority.
Baker advised reporters Thursday that he was not able to dive into particulars about a few of the particular points reshaping school sports activities, reminiscent of elevated transfers between colleges and the evolving methods during which NCAA athletes are allowed to earn cash. He mentioned his aim will probably be, partly, to make adjustments whereas preserving the a part of school sports activities that he believes is “one of the truly greatest human potential development organizations ever devised.”
Underneath Baker’s predecessor, Emmert, the NCAA has began to make an effort to shift extra energy from its central nationwide workplace in Indianapolis to particular person divisions or conferences. Baker mentioned he believes this a superb match for his expertise, having spent a lot of his profession working in “distributed decision-making models” of management.
“It’s about being a convener and a collaborator of a very large organization that has a lot of points of view and seeking to find those places where people can come together, can agree and can make a case … about what the best way is to ensure we don’t lose this jewel going forward.”
Baker, whose time period as governor ends Jan. 5, mentioned he plans to attend this yr’s NCAA conference in mid-January so he can start constructing relationships and growing a greater understanding of the group he’ll quickly lead.
ESPN’s Dan Murphy contributed to this report