There are three things that new NCAA president Charlie Baker should be laser-focused on. Let’s talk about them.
Charlie Baker replaces Mark Emmert, a University of Washington alumnus who spent 13 years burning money on fire and ineffectively fighting the cultural tide. I’m not saying that being a Washington University graduate is why Mark Emmert was such a terrible president. I’m just saying he went there…and happened terrible president.
We don’t need to re-litigate Mark Emmert’s sins. At this moment we need solutions. Is Charlie Baker ready to meet that moment, or will he be another empty suit whose presence you only notice when he stands in the way of sanity progressing?
Only time will tell, but for now, let’s go over the three things Baker needs to prioritize out of the gate.
First, Charlie Baker should work with major conference presidents to stabilize them. The Pac-12 is on the brink of collapse, the ACC is headed for major slumps, and the Big 12 seems bent on everyone else’s demise just to present itself relatively stable, even though they just lost their two biggest draws. Texas and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, you have an arms race between the SEC and the Big Ten, initiated by the network television partners.
Charlie Baker won’t be able to reign in the cancerous grow-or-die mentality that fuels these divisions, but he should certainly be looking to rally convention commissioners to outline a multi-phase Marvel-style vision. The future of the NCAA. If the group has common goals to work together to achieve, of course they will always pursue their own interests, but at least they will spend energy on the common goals as well.
Second, the transfer portal is a mess, and Baker has to take some extraordinary measures to help figure it out. There are reasonable solutions that have been thrown around since it was obvious that the transfer portal was turning into a junk drawer in the kitchen where things go in but never come out, and it’s time to look into putting those solutions in place.
They got off to a good start by allowing teams to exceed the 25 scholarship limit per class this year, but they can and should do more.
Just this week, Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy came up with the idea of signing high school athletes to special time contracts. So a five-star recruit can sign a one-year scholarship deal, while a player from a three-star program can sign a four-year scholarship, allowing the athlete to stay even if the coaching staff. wants to push them into a portal.
Other potential athlete-friendly solutions include waiving signing day so the athlete can sign with a school when they’re ready, instead of feeling pressured to take a spot at a school that may not be the best fit for them based on arbitrariness. Deadline. This would put an end to the ridiculous practice of unnecessary offers.
The NCAA also has the ability to establish and allow a longevity scholarship that will monetarily reward players for spending 3-4 years at one location and earning a degree.
The third thing Charlie Baker needs to understand is a national plan to create Name, Image and Likeness guidelines that will allow players to capitalize on them the way their schools capitalize on them. It’s not Baker’s fault that the NCAA spent millions and millions of dollars trying to block the NIL instead of forming it, but it’s his problem now. And yes, I understand that Baker is responsible for the institutions themselves and not necessarily the athletes, but those things don’t have to be oppositional. They both need each other.
If schools are concerned about losing corporate sponsorship dollars directly to athletes, get schools to direct 10% of any program’s sponsorship dollars directly to the NIL Fund, which pays everyone in that sport equally. If schools are concerned that different states have different laws, work with a coalition of people representing the interests of all parties involved to submit the amended legislation to your elected representative for sponsorship.
Don’t let an 82-year-old senator who misses the days of leather helmets or free throws write a bill.
Charlie Baker has a lot on his plate, but as long as he is determined to protect the welfare of student athletes so that we never have another Larry Nassar or Jerry Sandusky who hurt people for a long time, those are the real things he needs to do. being considered successful is pretty simple.
Stabilize major conferences. Resolve issues that caused the transfer portal to jam. Lead the country’s NIL strategy in a way that is mutually beneficial for both athletes and schools.
If Charlie Baker can do those three things, he’ll be as good as Mark Emmert was.
Let that sink in.