Los Angeles, CA – Wednesday, February 9, 2011 – Mark A. Emmert, PhD, President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will address Town Hall Los Angeles on “Achieving Student-Athlete Success”, Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
Emmert on solutions to high-profile controversies, “Student athletes trading on their standing as star student-athletes for money or benefits is not acceptable, and we need to address it and make sure it doesn't happen.” Emmert continued, “Student-athletes are students. They're not professionals.  And we're not going to pay them.  And we're not going to allow other people to pay them to play.”
Emmert became the fifth president of the NCAA in October 2010. Prior to assuming his current role, Emmert served as president of the University of Washington since 2004. He has worked in the fields of higher education and public administration for over 30 years.
On the desirability of American university athletic programs, Emmert stated, “People fight like crazy to come to the United States to gain access to American universities because they are the best, and that includes athletes.  There is no place to get the kind of athletic experience, without being a professional, to get you ready for that profession that you can get anywhere in the world except at an American university”  And on NCAA funding for these programs, Emmert said, “If you like gymnastics, buy football tickets.  If you like volleyball, buy football tickets. If you like crew, buy football tickets because that’s how we pay for those things.”
The NCAA, formed in 1906, is a not-for-profit association of colleges and universities that conducts 89 championships in 23 sports in which nearly 55,000 student-athletes compete. The NCAA also develops national policy governing the conduct of intercollegiate athletics in three divisions for more than 1,000 institutions of higher education and serves more than 400,000 student-athletes.
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