Longtime NCAA president Mark Emmert announces resignation
NCAA president Mark Emmert announced his resignation on Tuesday in a joint statement alongside the NCAA.
Per the NCAA, Emmert will continue to serve in his role until a new president is selected or June 30, 2023.
"Today, NCAA Board of Governors Chair John J. DeGioia announced by mutual agreement with the board that Mark Emmert will be stepping down as president of the NCAA," the statement reads. "He will continue to serve in his role until a new president is selected and in place or until June 30, 2023."
Emmert has overseen a tumultuous 12-year tenure with the NCAA since being hired as president in 2010, marked by his resistance to changing an outdated amateurism model that refuses to pay players in a billion-dollar industry. The NCAA extended his contract last year through 2025. It wasn't immediately clear on Tuesday what precisely prompted his early departure.
"With the significant transitions underway within college sports, the timing of this decision provides the Association with consistent leadership during the coming months plus the opportunity to consider what will be the future role of the president," DeGioia said in Tuesday's statement. "It also allows for the selection and recruitment of the next president without disruption."
Emmert's tenure teemed with controversy
Emmert's extension last year was met with widespread criticism, including from multiple sources who expressed their displeasure with the decision to Yahoo Sports. Sources estimated to Yahoo Sports that Emmert's approval rating among conference commissioners at the time stood at less than 10%. DeGioia's public support leading up to Emmert's extension was blasted by some inside college athletics as cronyism.
“Stunning,” one athletic director said of the decision last April. “And we wonder why there’s no credibility in college athletics.”
At the time of his extension, the NCAA was embroiled in a controversy over inequities between the men's and women's NCAA basketball tournaments. Emmert was also taking heat for a 2016 NCAA tournament TV contract with CBS and Turner Sports that's estimated to ultimately cost the NCAA upwards of $3.5 billion. The NCAA signed the deal through 2032 when it had eight years left on its previous deal.
Since his extension, the NCAA's NIL era has launched, allowing college athletes to profit from third parties off their name, image and likeness. It came into fruition at the urging of state legislatures across the country, which enacted allows approving NIL deals while the NCAA largely stood idle on the subject.
Emmert was likewise the subject of public criticism, including from Gonzaga men's basketball coach Mark Few, who took Emmert to task in 2018 for the NCAA's handling of widespread college basketball pay-for-play scandals that turned into federal court cases.
“Emmert needs to step up and be a leader and make some quicker decisions,” Few said in 2018.
Prior to his hiring as NCAA president, Emmert was the president at his alma mater, the University of Washington from 2004. He addressed his tenure and his resignation in Tuesday's statement.
"Throughout my tenure I've emphasized the need to focus on the experience and priorities of student-athletes," Emmert, per the statement. "I am extremely proud of the work of the Association over the last 12 years and especially pleased with the hard work and dedication of the national office staff here in Indianapolis."