President of the NCAA wants to put 2011 behind the organization

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INDIANAPOLIS — NCAA President Mark Emmert would like to erase all the tawdry tales from his first full year in office.

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NCAA President Mark Emmert expressed his frustration with the problems colleges had in 2011.  DARRON CUMMINGS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
DARRON CUMMINGS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
NCAA President Mark Emmert expressed his frustration with the problems colleges had in 2011.

On Thursday, Emmert asked university leaders to help him turn the page on a disastrous 2011 that included a child sex abuse scandal at Penn State that overshadowed NCAA violations at a handful of major football programs.

Emmert wants to restore some of college sports’ core principles – choosing education over money, amateurism over professionalism and abiding by the rules rather than ignoring them.

“What we have to do is work together to act on those values, to let the world know which fork in the road we’ve taken so we don’t have the same story line this year that we had last year,” he told about 2,000 delegates at the annual convention, just a few blocks from the NCAA headquarters.

“I know we can do it. We can do it in 2012.”

For roughly 30 minutes, Emmert again expressed frustration with the rash of infractions charges, alleged ethical breaches and possible criminal conduct in 2011.

“I’ve heard people say that there are no ethics and no integrity in college sports and the whole system is broken. But here’s the really bad news. There’s truth in some of those criticisms,” Emmert said. “What parts of those stories are true? Sometimes we have seen behaviors that don’t match our values. We do have some people that want to win at all costs. We have some student-athletes that don’t care about getting an education and some that simply don’t get the education they deserve.

Emmert also awarded the organization’s President Gerald R. Ford Award to Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit, who could not attend Thursday because her team was playing at Kentucky.

GROUP’S HEAD FAVORS A FOUR-TEAM PLAYOFF

INDIANAPOLIS — Mark Emmert says he would support a four-team football playoff.

The NCAA president made his remarks Thursday after giving his annual state of the association speech at the governing body’s national convention.

Emmert says that while the NCAA was meeting in Indianapolis this week, he was tracking this week’s discussions in New Orleans, including the proposed four-team BCS playoff.

Anything larger might be too much.

Emmert says he will not support a 16-team tournament because it would make the season too long, increase the risk of injury, intrude on classes and likely eliminate the current bowl system.

He says a smaller tournament, though, could be successful.

– Associated Press


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