Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NCAA Forms Basketball Commission Condoleezza Rice Will Chair Body to Fix the Sport

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NCAA Forms Basketball Commission Condoleezza Rice Will Chair Body to Fix the Sport

Article excerpt

The NCAA board of governors and board of directors has endorsed the formation of a Commission on College Basketball, a body that will be chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, NCAA president Mark Emmert announced Wednesday in a statement.

As part of examining aspects of a system that Emmert said "clearly is not working," the commission will have three primary areas of focus - the relationship of the NCAA, its institutions and athletes with outside entities, namely apparel companies, amateur basketball and agents; the organization's relationship with the NBA, particularly as it relates to the effects of the league's "one-and-done" rule; and working to improve the level of transparency and accountability between the NCAA's national office and its schools. The committee will begin its work in November and deliver its proposed changes at the NCAA's April meetings.

In addition to Rice, the committee features 13 well-known figures from higher education, basketball and business, a group that includes Emmert, former NBA stars David Robinson and Grant Hill, former Georgetown coach John Thompson III, Notre Dame president the Rev. John Jenkins, USA Basketball chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith.

The announcement comes two weeks after college basketball was rattled by revelations from an FBI corruption investigation. At the center of the probe were details about how top prospects were paid upwards of $150,000 in an effort to attract them to certain schools, financial advisers and shoe companies, findings that led to the indictment of four assistant coaches from major-conference programs.

"Individuals who break the trust on which college sports is based have no place here. 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," Emmert said in the statement. "We must take decisive action. This is not a time for half-measures or incremental change."

The third and final of the NCAA's listed objectives is something of a look inward. Through the work of subpoenas, wiretaps and threat of prison, the FBI's investigation not only brought to light many seedy elements that had long lingered in the shadows, but it highlighted the limitations of the NCAA's enforcement arm. …

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