Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Named Next NCAA President Will Succeed Mark Emmert At Pivotal Time

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Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will be the next NCAA president, the association announced Thursday. Baker succeeds Mark Emmert and takes the helm of college sports’ governing body in a time of transformation. Baker, a Republican, is nearing the end of his second term as governor.

“We are thrilled to welcome Governor Charlie Baker to the NCAA and look forward to him beginning his work with our organization,” Linda Livingstone, president of Baylor and chair of the NCAA board of governors, said in a statement. “Governor Baker has demonstrated a remarkable ability to bridge divides and build bipartisan consensus, addressing complex challenges in innovative and effective ways. As a former student-athlete himself, husband of a A former college gymnast and father of two former college football players, Governor Baker is deeply committed to our student-athletes and enhancing their college experience. Those skills and perspective will be invaluable as we work with policy makers to build a enduring model for the future of college athletics.

Baker will start on March 1, 2023. The 66-year-old has little notable academic or athletic experience, although he played basketball at Harvard. He should bring some political meaning to the position at a time when the NCAA is seeking help from lawmakers with name, image and likeness legislation.

The NCAA’s desire to establish federal regulations in the NIL space is just one of the elements of change that Baker will face when he takes office. The proliferation of transfers through revenue-generating college sports, another round of conference realignments, and talk of potential NCAA tournament expansion are among the most high-profile issues in college sports right now.

“I am honored to become the next president of the NCAA, an organization that impacts millions of families and countless communities across this country every day,” Baker said. “The NCAA faces complex and significant challenges, but I’m excited to get to work because the incredible opportunity that college athletics provides to so many students is worth more than the challenge. And for the fans who faithfully fulfill stadiums, stands and gymnasiums coast to coast, I look forward to making sure the competitions we all love to follow are there for generations to come. Over the next few months I will start working with student-athletes and NCAA members as we modernize college sports to fit today’s world, while preserving its core value.”

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