NCAA president Mark Emmert on Wednesday announced the formation of a Commission on College Basketball, which will be headed by former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
The new committee comes in the wake of the recent scandal involving an FBI investigation into fraud, bribery and shady recruiting practices in college basketball, which led to a handful of arrests and firings across the country.
The idea behind the committee will be to better police the goings on that affect the sport and to prevent an already widespread problem from continuing or getting worse.
“The recent news of a federal investigation into fraud in college basketball made it very clear the NCAA needs to make substative changes to the way we operate, and do so quickly,” Emmert said in a statement. “Individuals who break the trust on which college sports is based have no place here.”
The committee will include Emmert, USA Basketball chairman General Martin E. Dempsey, former Duke star and Atlanta Hawks owner Grant Hill, ex-Navy and Spurs standout David Robinson, ex-Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley, longtime college coach Mike Montgomery, ex-Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, Hofstra athletic director Jeff Hathaway, president of Notre Dame Rev. John I. Jenkins, president of Georgia Tech G.P. "Bud" Peterson, former White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, and president of the Association of American Universities Mary Sue Coleman.
According to Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, who also currently serves as the president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the well-known list of names that makes up the committee will help provide strong leadership throughout college basketball in the immediate future.
“The recently announced basketball commission, comprised of people who truly care for our game, will be good for (the) long-term benefit of our sport,” Self wrote on Twitter shortly after the committee was announced.
The message marked just the 263rd Tweet in Self’s time on the popular social media site, of which he has been a member (@CoachBillSelf) since February of 2009.
While many names on the list have obvious ties to college athletics, Rice is no stranger to college sports. In addition to serving as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, the 62-year-old Rice also was a professor at Stanford and served on the inaugural college football selection committee when the sport moved away from the BCS and into its current College Football Playoff system.
According to Emmert, the Commission on College Basketball, which will become operational in November, will focus on three areas:
1 - The relationship of the NCAA national office, member institutions, student-athletes and coaches with outside entities, including apparel companies, agents and advisors, and also non-scholastic basketball.
2 - The NCAA's relationship with the NBA.
3 - Creating the right relationship between the universities and colleges of the NCAA and its national office to promote transparency and accountability.
“We need to do right by student-athletes,” Emmert added in the statement. “I believe we can — and we must — find a way to protect the integrity of college sports by addressing both sides of the coin: fairness and opportunity for college athletes, coupled with the enforcement capability to hold accountable those who undermine the standards of our community.
“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. We must take decisive action. This is not a time for half-measures or incremental change.”