Emmert: Changes afoot, but athletes won't be paid

Significant changes within the NCAA are likely to occur in the not-too-distant future, perhaps as early as the spring of 2014. But one thing that will remain a constant: Players will not be paid.

NCAA president Mark Emmert made that clear on Monday while speaking at Marquette University.

He said the very foundation of college athletics is based on coordinating and promoting amateur college athletics, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Emmert, the featured speaker at a public policy forum, was adamant that few if any university presidents thought the idea of paying athletes is a good idea. In fact, Emmert said the issue of paying college athletes "is more debated in the media than it is among the membership."

Emmert was asked if university leaders might consider flopping on the issue if public sentiment became too loud to ignore.

"I would be very surprised if they changed their opinion on that issue," Emmert said.

There is support among the NCAA leadership to provide an additional $2,000 stipend to student-athletes. The idea, Emmert said, could be formalized this spring.

A similar idea already has been approved by the leadership of the NCAA, but not voted on because almost half of member institutions want changes to the initials proposal. The stipend would cover nonscholarship expenses, including weekend meals and clothing.

Emmert said schools recognize that the scholarship model currently in place is outdated and needs tweaked.

"The scholarship model that's in place is more than 40 years old and in 40 years, everything has changed in sport except that," Emmert said. "So it's high time they (NCAA leaders) had a good debate."