The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has hired Charlie Baker, the outgoing Governor of Massachusetts, as the next president of the organization.
A year ago, Baker announced he would not seek re-election in 2022 for a third term as governor. Baker succeeds long-time president Mark Emmert. In June, Emmert announced he would step down from his role.
Emmert said at the time, “I am extremely proud of the work of the Association over the last 12 years and especially pleased with the hard work and dedication of the national office staff here in Indianapolis.”
On Thursday, the NCAA said Baker would begin his new role in March 2023. The press release noted Baker’s previous athletic career as a former athlete at Harvard University.
“Governor Baker has shown a remarkable ability to bridge divides and build bipartisan consensus, taking on complex challenges in innovative and effective ways,” the chair of the NCAA board of governors and president of Baylor University, Linda Livingstone, stated Thursday.
“As a former student-athlete himself, husband to a former college gymnast, and father to two former college football players, Governor Baker is deeply committed to our student-athletes and enhancing their collegiate experience. These skills and perspective will be invaluable as we work with policymakers to build a sustainable model for the future of college athletics.”
Last June, NCAA board of governors chair John J. DeGioia noted the changing landscape of college sports, including the growing NIL – name, image and likeness – business within the collegiate world, as part of the challenges the new president would face.
DeGioia said, “With the significant transitions underway within college sports, the timing of this decision provides the Association with consistent leadership during the coming months plus the opportunity to consider what will be the future role of the president.”
Thursday’s announcement highlighted what Baker faces ahead including “an untenable patchwork of individual state laws.”
Governor Baker said Thursday, “The NCAA is confronting complex and significant challenges, but I am excited to get to work as the awesome opportunity college athletics provides to so many students is more than worth the challenge.”