The NCAA announced Tuesday that long-time president Mark Emmert, 69, is stepping down from his role with the association. Emmert, who has been steering college sports’ top organization since 2010, will remain in his position until a new president is hired or until June 30, 2023, whichever comes first.
“Throughout my tenure I’ve emphasized the need to focus on the experience and priorities of student-athletes,” said Emmert in a statement. “I am extremely proud of the work of the Association over the last 12 years and especially pleased with the hard work and dedication of the national office staff here in Indianapolis.”
The decision for Emmert to leave the NCAA came through mutual agreement between the president and the NCAA Board of Governors, according to a press release. It comes as the college sports landscape is undergoing seismic shifts with players being granted rights and compensation never experienced before.
The NCAA also ratified a new constitution this past January with the association set to undergo a restructuring that will ultimately see it play less of a forward-facing role than it has since its formation.
“With the significant transitions underway within college sports, the timing of this decision provides the Association with consistent leadership during the coming months plus the opportunity to consider what will be the future role of the president,” said John J. DeGioia, chairman of the NCAA board. “It also allows for the selection and recruitment of the next president without disruption.”
Emmert became a lightning rod for criticism due to several missteps including the slow pace in which the NCAA instituted the policy that allows players to profit off of their name, image and likeness. Despite that, the board awarded him a contract extension through 2025 just 364 days prior to this announcement of his departure.
Prior to becoming the fifth president in NCAA history, Emmert served as president of the University of Washington (2004-10) and chancellor LSU (1999-2004).