NCAA creates Commission on College Basketball in response to FBI investigation

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the formation of a Commission on College Basketball on Wednesday afternoon.

Emmert said the federal investigation that made headlines about two weeks ago, an investigation that saw four college basketball assistant coaches arrested in addition to six others, made it clear the NCAA has to make “substantive changes” to the way it operates. 

“Individuals who break the trust on which college sports is based have no place here,” Emmert said in a statement. “While I believe the vast majority of coaches follow the rules, the culture of silence in college basketball enables bad actors, and we need them out of the game.”

When Joon Kim, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, shone a light on some of these bad actors in September, he called what was uncovered “the dark underbelly of college athletics.”

Condoleezza Rice has agreed to chair the commission. Rice is joined by Emmert, former Georgetown University head basketball coach John Thompson III, Ohio State Athletics Director Gene Smith, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins and others. 

The members of the commission, Emmert said, are “leaders from higher education, college sports, government and the business world, as well as accomplished former student-athletes.”

There are no current student athletes on the commission.

The commission outlined its focus in three parts:

1. “The relationship of the NCAA national office, member institutions, student-athletes and coaches with outside entities.” 

2. “The NCAA’s relationship with the NBA, and the challenging effect the NBA’s so-called ‘one and done’ rule has had on college basketball, including how the NCAA can change its own eligibility rules to address that dynamic.” 

3. “Creating the right relationship between the universities and colleges of the NCAA and its national office to promote transparency and accountability. The commission will be asked to evaluate whether the appropriate degree of authority is vested in the current enforcement and eligibility processes, and whether the collaborative model provides the investigative tools, cultural incentives and structures to ensure exploitation and corruption cannot hide in college sports.”

The commission will start its work in November and make recommendations for any legislative, policy or structural changes in April.

IU President Michael McRobbie and IU Athletics Director Fred Glass could not be reached for comment.

Jordan Guskey

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