Friday 16 December 2022

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Selected As Next NCAA President

 The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) has selected outgoing Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker as its next president.

Baker will begin his role as the NCAA’s top executive in March 2023, according to the announcement. His term as governor ends in January.

“We are excited to welcome Governor Charlie Baker to the NCAA and eager for him to begin his work with our organization,” Linda Livingstone, Baylor University president and chair of the NCAA Board of Governors, said in a statement.

“Governor Baker has shown a remarkable ability to bridge divides and build bipartisan consensus, taking on complex challenges in innovative and effective ways,” it continued. “As a former student-athlete himself, husband to a former college gymnast, and father to two former college football players, Governor Baker is deeply committed to our student-athletes and enhancing their collegiate experience. These skills and perspective will be invaluable as we work with policymakers to build a sustainable model for the future of college athletics.”

Current NCAA President Mark Emmert announced his intention to step down last April. He has led the association since 2010 and is expected to remain in an advisory role until June of next year.

The governor’s history of developing bipartisan policy solutions stood out to the search committee as it sought the association’s next leader, according to the statement.

“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 in the NCAA’s announcement.

The NCAA includes more than 500,000 college students in its various sports each year, according to its website, and serves as the nation’s largest organization representing collegiate student-athletes. The organization has enacted several innovations in recent years, including the addition of the transfer portal and NIL (name, image, and likeness) policy changes that permit college athletes to receive financial compensation.

Baker will most likely have to contend with controversial social issues facing collegiate sports. For example, the NCAA’s policies related to biological males competing in female sports sparked harsh criticism when Lia Thomas competed for the University of Pennsylvania’s women’s swimming team during the 2021-2022 season.

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