At the NCAA Convention yesterday Mark Emmert. NCAA president delivered the speech shown above. Here is how the AP reported on the speech:
NCAA President Mark Emmert would like to erase all the tawdry tales from his first full year in office.
On Thursday, Emmert asked university leaders to help him turn the page on a disastrous 2011 that included a child sex abuse scandal at Penn State that overshadowed NCAA violations at a handful of major football programs. Emmert wants to restore some of college sports’ core principles -- choosing education over money, amateurism over professionalism and abiding by the rules rather than ignoring them.
“What we have to do is work together to act on those values, to let the world know which fork in the road we’ve taken so we don’t have the same story line this year that we had last year,” he told about 2,000 delegates at the annual convention, just a few blocks from the NCAA headquarters.
“I know we can do it. We can do it in 2012.” For roughly 30 minutes, Emmert again expressed frustration with the rash of infractions charges, alleged ethical breaches and possible criminal conduct in 2011.
And Emmert made it perfectly clear how upset he was by striking a far different tone Thursday than he did in his first state of the association address last year in San Antonio, Texas. There, Emmert paraded “model” student-athletes across the stage, a production that even included eventual Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.
This time, speaking sternly and with few laugh lines, Emmert broadly recounted some of the most damaging phrases he’d heard: College sports is about winning at all costs, it’s all about the money, everybody cheats and the term student-athlete is an oxymoron.
“I’ve heard people say that there are no ethics and no integrity in college sports and the whole system is broken. But here’s the really bad news. There’s truth in some of those criticisms,” Emmert said. “What parts of those stories are true? Sometimes we have seen behaviors that don’t match our values. We do have some people that want to win at all costs. We have some student-athletes that don’t care about getting an education and some that simply don’t get the education they deserve. The worst thing to me is that they completely overshadow all of the good things that are going on in intercollegiate athletics.”
The push for change has already begun.