The NCAA was dealt a major blow earlier this week when the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the governing body can no longer hide behind “amateurism” as a way to not further compensate student-athletes for their contributions.
NCAA president Mark Emmert addressed the verdict soon after, pointing out that the ruling still allowed the NCAA to determine what educational benefits for college athletes are and are not. He added that he remained committed to “supporting NIL benefits for student-athletes.”
“While today’s decision preserves the lower court ruling, it also reaffirms the NCAA’s authority to adopt reasonable rules and repeatedly notes that the NCAA remains free to articulate what are and are not truly educational benefits, consistent with the NCAA’s mission to support student-athletes,” Emmert said.
“Even though the decision does not directly address name, image, and likeness, the NCAA remains committed to supporting NIL benefits for student-athletes. Additionally, we remain committed to working with Congress to chart a path forward, which is a point the Supreme Court expressly stated in its ruling.”
ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum has long been a critic of Emmert but the ruling this week was the final straw. In an appearance on “Get Up” this week, he blasted the NCAA president and was incredulous that he still held the position after the Supreme Court handed down its verdict.
“Really think about this, this is the first time the Supreme Court has heard a case involving college athletics since 1985 when they shattered the television model as we currently have – or the one that we used to have and opened the door for what we’re doing now,” Finebaum said, per Saturday Down South. “So it’s very, very important… The reason why those presidents in that room ought to be having a heart attack is because they just rehired the man who led this organization to slaughter — and that is Mark Emmert.
“I mean I’m done talking about Mark Emmert in terms of his competence, that that’s no longer the case. But if the NCAA allows him to continue it’s mind-boggling. And they just gave him an extension! Any other CEO in America would have been fired the moment that ruling came out yesterday but Mark Emmert got a six-year extension.”
Finebaum’s comments are harsh but not exactly unwarranted. With the tide changing in college sports, it seems logical to question if Emmert is the right person to lead the NCAA into a new era.
The ESPN analyst certainly feels that way as he realizes that the NCAA is floundering under the pressure to change.
“This is the end of the NCAA as we know it,” Finebaum said on Tuesday after the ruling.”The funeral hasn’t happened yet, the last rights have not been uttered, but it’s over for the NCAA. It won’t happen tomorrow, it won’t happen next week, but the next lawsuit will bury the NCAA – and Judge Kavanaugh said that yesterday.”