Monday, June 09, 2014

Face of the N.C.A.A., Battered Early and Often

By BEN STRAUSS and STEVE EDER, NYT
JUNE 8, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS — A large oil painting hangs in the office of Mark A. Emmert, the president of the N.C.A.A. It depicts a boxer in a gym preparing for a bout, a team of trainers huddled around him.

Dr. Emmert chose the piece for his corner office at the association’s headquarters, and as he stared at the tableau last week, he said: “Most people think I would identify with the boxer, but not always. Sometimes I feel like the doctor, and sometimes I feel like the old curmudgeon in the corner.”

There is no punching bag in the painting, but if there were, that could be Dr. Emmert, too.

Since Dr. Emmert took the helm of the N.C.A.A. in 2010, his organization, the major governing body for college sports, has faced a relentless barrage of criticism, most commonly accusations that it perpetuates what some think is the exploitation of young athletes.

On Monday, the N.C.A.A. is scheduled to begin its toughest challenge yet: a trial in federal court in Oakland, Calif., over a lawsuit contending that the organization and its partners conspired to trade on the likenesses of college athletes in broadcasts and video games without compensating them. Dr. Emmert is expected to testify.

(More here.)

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