Emmert, lawmakers meet amid pleas for change

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fairly difficult
NCAA president Mark Emmert met with influential senators to discuss more uniform changes as public outcry and criticism grow.
WASHINGTON -- NCAA president Mark Emmert met with a pair of senators Tuesday to continue his organization's uphill battle to maintain control over the future of college sports.

Emmert has spent a large amount of his time in the nation's capital in the latter half of 2019. He said last week that the vast majority of his workload is now focused on navigating a minefield of legal and legislative challenges to what he calls the "collegiate model" of sports.

Mark Emmert has spent a large amount of his time in the nation's capital in the latter half of 2019, focusing mostly on navigating a minefield of legal and legislative challenges to what he calls the "collegiate model" of sports. AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File

Those various challenges are all attempts to reform a system that -- NCAA stakeholders and the general public both agree -- has outgrown its amateur roots and needs to create new ways for athletes to share in the fruits of a multibillion-dollar industry. Amid deteriorating public confidence in the NCAA and Emmert's ability to fix their own problems, the longtime president is looking for help from a group that the NCAA has previously tried hard to avoid: federal lawmakers.

During a panel discussion at the Aspen Institute on Tuesday, Emmert said he was "profoundly concerned" about the lack of trust the public has in the NCAA. He disagreed with the notion that going to Congress was a last resort, but said "It's an appropriate time given where we are on the issue."

Earlier in the day, he joined Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) during the first meeting of a bipartisan political group that plans to examine college athlete compensation. The group also includes Sens. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who had staff members at Tuesday's meeting. Murphy and Romney have both been outspoken critics of the NCAA in the past several months. They said that while they started by meeting with Emmert, they intend to listen…
Dan Murphy, Adam Rittenberg, Mechelle Voepel
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