NCAA head Mark Emmert calls unionization effort 'grossly inappropriate'

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The NCAA president called an effort to unionize players a “grossly inappropriate” way to solve problems in college sports while insisting the association has plans to change the school-athlete relationship.

Mark Emmert said Sunday that the NCAA wants to allow the big conferences with moneymaking teams to write their own rules, and those changes could solve many athletes’ complaints more effectively than unionization.

“To be perfectly frank, the notion of using a union-employee model to address the challenges that exist in intercollegiate athletics is something that strikes most people as a grossly inappropriate solution to the problems,” Emmert said at his annual news conference, held the day before college basketball’s national championship.

He said it would “throw away the entire collegiate model for athletics.”

ONE-AND-DONE RULE: NCAA officials and Kentucky coach John Calipari at least agree on something: The one-and-done rule in college basketball needs to be revised.

Emmert said that he is in “vocal opposition” to the rule established by the NBA and its union that requires players be at least one year removed from high school before declaring for the NBA Draft.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby went further, saying “the NFL and NBA have been irresponsible in not providing other legitimate opportunities for kids that really don’t want to go to college.”

Calipari has said he favors a two-year period before players can declare for the NBA Draft.

FINAL FOUR RATINGS: Television viewership was down after the men’s Final Four moved to cable.

The two NCAA semifinals Saturday averaged a total of 14 million viewers, an 11 percent decrease from last year’s games on CBS. That number included viewers of the main coverage on TBS along with the school-specific “TeamCasts” on TNT and truTV. Turner Sports and CBS did not receive network-by-network ratings breakdowns from Nielsen.


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