With the corruption scandal that rocked college basketball in 2017 still making headlines, NCAA President Mark Emmert told organization members Thursday they must step up to address the issues facing college sports.
Speaking at the 2018 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis, Emmert told members they must do more than just talk about the issues.
“People don’t want words; they want to see action,” Emmert said. “We’ve got to fix it together. Nobody thinks it’s going to be easy. In fact, I think it’s going to be really hard. But we’ve got to get on with it. We’ve got to put our actions where our words are.”
One of the worst scandals in college basketball history erupted in late September when the FBI charged NCAA assistant basketball coaches at USC, Arizona, Oklahoma State and Auburn after an investigation uncovered alleged corruption, bribery and wire fraud in "pay-for-play" recruiting schemes.
Emmert told NCAA members Thursday that they all bear responsibility for cleaning up college sports.
“We tend to say, ‘No it’s not me; it’s that other school,’” Emmert said. “But the fact is that’s just a little too convenient for all of us. It’s a little too easy. … When we have issues like those, we have to stand up together and say, ‘We have to fix that.’”
That recruiting scandal led the NCAA to create a Commission on College Basketball to study potential problems in the sport and recommend solutions. On Wednesday the NCAA Board of Governors approved $10 million in startup funding and $2.5 million annually to address the committee's recommendations.
Emmert said that member institutions must stay in front of emerging issues in college sports.
“We can’t run away from change,” Emmert said. “We need to be the leaders in managing change, not getting whipsawed by it. But we always have to do that by reminding ourselves that this is about providing our students with opportunities to succeed.”