Emmert believes this proposal might be the best solution for an NCAA increasingly under fire.
The organization is facing a number of lawsuits, including the potentially landmark Ed O’Bannon case that is seeking compensation for athletes who were depicted in video games, and the possibility of a players’ union at Northwestern that is seeking more benefits and better working conditions for college athletes.
Emmert has repeatedly said he opposes unionization, though he acknowledged Wednesday he agrees with some of the concerns raised by labor leaders.
“I think the most interesting response to the Northwestern conversation is when the student-athlete said ‘Here’s what we’re worried about,’ I said, ‘Great, this is what we’ve been working on for some time,”’ Emmert said, referring to former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter. “These are things we’ve been talking about since the summer of 2011. There’s been a lot frustration that it’s taken longer to get where we need to be, but here it is.”
Governance isn’t the only issue on the board’s agenda.
It also will debate proposals to allow athletes to have year-round unlimited meal plans and snacks and a change in transfer rules that would affect a small group of athletes.
The new transfer proposal would give players who receive “hardship waivers” but had good enough grades to compete immediately, one additional year to be granted an extra year to complete their four years of competitive eligibility. Those players would still be required to sit out one year. Even if approved, the new rule would not apply to the growing number of graduate students who transfer to new schools with remaining eligibility.
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