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Could college basketball benefit from having a commissioner?

Mike Krzyzewski

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski directs his team against Louisville during the first half of the Midwest Regional final in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


With the recent changes in college basketball, from conference realignment to the enforcement of rules in order to improve freedom of movement, there’s been an increasing need for a uniform voice to lead the sport. NCAA president Mark Emmert has every sport to consider, and head of officiating John Adams only deals with the officiating aspect of things.

With this being the case, should the NCAA look into the possibility of having a commissioner of sorts for college basketball? According to many, including Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, this is something the governing body should consider with the possibility of more changes (read: Ed O’Bannon lawsuit) on the horizon.

“Who’s in charge?” Krzyzewski said a day before his team met Louisville in the Elite Eight in late March. “Well, who, though? No, President (Mark) Emmert is in charge of the entire NCAA. He’s got a huge job. There should be somebody in charge of college basketball who does this on a day-to-day basis and understands everything about it.

“When they put the dirt on me, inside, underneath the dirt, I’m still going to be yelling for somebody to run college basketball.”

This wouldn’t be a bad idea at all, especially if it leads to a truly “universal” voice for the sport. But how much power would a commissioner have? That’s an important question to answer, especially when it comes to the current early entry rule. The NBA’s rule is that a player needs to be one year removed from high school before becoming eligible to enter the draft, and when the owners and NBPA sit down to negotiate their collective bargaining agreement the rule isn’t one of the major issues on the table.

Could a commissioner better voice the concerns of college basketball’s power brokers to the NBA and NBPA on this issue? And more importantly, would those two groups actually listen? But even with those questions there are other issues in college basketball that need to be addressed, and having a leader would more than likely help get things done in a timely manner.

Times have changed, and the way in which college basketball is run should as well. And if that means electing a commissioner, then the membership needs to consider that possibility.

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