Emmert: NCAA won't budge on paying college athletes
The structure of the NCAA could look very different by this time next year as members try to resolve the growing disparity between big-money schools and smaller institutions.
What won't change, however, is the amateur status of the players who make college athletics a billion-dollar business.
Never miss a local story.
"One thing that sets the fundamental tone is there's very few members and, virtually no university president, that thinks it's a good idea to convert student-athletes into paid employees. Literally into professionals," NCAA President Mark Emmert said Monday at Marquette University. "Then you have something very different from collegiate athletics. One of the guiding principles (of the NCAA) has been that this is about students who play sports."
Emmert and the NCAA have had a turbulent year, with money the source for most of the discontent. After Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was investigated for allegedly receiving money for autographs — he was cleared — Time magazine put him on the cover along with the headline "It's Time to Pay College Athletes." Oklahoma State is investigating whether rules were broken after a series of Sports Illustrated stories that alleged cash payments to players and academic misconduct.
The NCAA is also facing an antitrust lawsuit from former players who believe they're owed millions of dollars in compensation.
"(There's) enormous tension right now that's growing between the collegiate model and the commercial model," said Emmert, who spoke as part of Marquette's "On the Issues" forum. "And, by the way, this is nothing new. This tension has been going on forever and ever. It has gotten greater now because the magnitude of dollars has gotten really, really large.
"The most valuable (television) products are things you have to watch in real time, and that's sports and 'Dancing with the Stars,'" he added. "So we're seeing an explosion in the value of sports media properties and that's injected a lot of revenue into sports. ... That's led to a lot of the discussion. This whole notion of, first and foremost, treating student-athletes in fair fashion while still maintaining the student-athlete, is at the core of all of this."
One way to address that would be by allowing athletes to turn pro straight out of high school, Emmert said, something the NBA and NFL don't allow. Other professions don't impose an "artificial juncture," he said, noting that ballet dancers don't have to take a detour to college before joining a troupe. He also pointed to baseball's two-track model. Players can turn pro out of high school. If they choose to go to college, however, they must stay until after their third year or they turn 21.
"It's a dynamic tension that we really need to work on because it's at heart of part of what talking about here," he said. "Why would we want to force someone to go to school when they really don't want to be there? But if you're going to come to us, you're going to be a student."
Kellogg, Anthony switch roles for CBS
Clark Kellogg and Greg Anthony will switch roles for CBS's college basketball coverage. Anthony will serve as the lead game analyst alongside Jim Nantz, while Kellogg is returning to the network's studio show.
Kellogg worked on the studio show for 16 years before replacing Billy Packer as CBS's lead game analyst, calling his first Final Four in 2009. He will still call games during the regular season.
Anthony has been CBS's lead studio analyst since 2008. The 11-year NBA veteran and former UNLV star has also called games for the network.
CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said Monday that "we believe this shuffling of our lineup allows both Greg and Clark to play more to their individual strengths."
Macumber, Bouchikhi earn top honors
The Kentucky cross country team's Cally Macumber was named women's National Athlete of the Week by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association. Macumber, the defending Southeastern Conference and Southeast Region champion, won the 5K Kentucky Bluegrass Invitational on Saturday by 26 seconds with a time of 16:32.10.
Eastern Kentucky's Soufiane Bouchikhi earned the men's award. Bouchikhi, the three-time Ohio Valley Conference champion and last year's NCAA Southeast Region winner, defeated his nearest Bluegrass Invitational competitor by 12 seconds while covering the 8K course in 23:35.60.
■ University of Kentucky senior right side hitter Whitney Billings was named the Southeastern Conference's volleyball player of the week, and Anni Thomasson was a co-freshman of the week. Billings had 11 digs in a win against Louisville and became the sixth player in program history with 1,000 career kills and digs.
■ Kentucky women's soccer's Arin Gilliland was named the Southeastern Conference's offensive player of the week after she scored seven points in Kentucky's 1-0 win over Texas-San Antonio and 4-2 victory at No. 10 West Virginia.
The last word
The Indianapolis Colts returned to their locker room bruised and battered Monday. Nearly half of their opening-day offensive starters couldn't finish Sunday's game. Andrew Luck was sacked three more times, including on fourth-and-10 with 87 seconds left in the game. The defense gave up too many big plays, and the combination led to Indy's first home loss in 12 months. Things aren't about to get any easier. Indianapolis now heads West to face the equally upset 49ers. Colts Coach Chuck Pagano said:
"We talk about the 24-hour rule when you win, but it doesn't seem to apply when you lose. I don't know why, but it just doesn't. Everybody's miserable till you get to tee it up again the next Sunday. They (the 49ers) are coming off a tough loss, we're coming off a tough loss, so I think it will be the same in both places."