EdCast Understanding the NCAA Mark Emmert, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), reflects on the evolving role of college athletics, amateurism in college sports, and his favorite moment as a fan. Posted October 18, 2017 By Matt Weber Mark Emmert, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), wants you to know that there are some misperceptions when it comes to his organization. For one, the NCAA is not a corporation where one person, or even a few, dictate how things are going to work in college athletics. Instead, he says, the nonprofit acts as an organizational structure where over a thousand schools come together to make decisions through a representative system. The NCAA, says Emmert, is more like the United Nations than the NFL.Emmert also wants to be clear that, despite the fact that a number of its student-athletes go on to careers in professional sports, that result is never the NCAA's goal. "We are in the human development business, not the talent development business. This is about young men and women getting their educations and launching their lives, and that is exactly what 98 percent of them do," he says, noting that, in addition to the athletes' educations, the NCAA's main concern is their health and well-being, as well as fairness in school and in sport.On Appian Way to participate in Askwith Forums' "College + Athletics = A Complex American Relationship," Emmert spoke with the Harvard EdCast about the goals of the NCAA and its role in the lives of student-athletes, and addresses some of the controversy around college athletics.About the Harvard EdCastThe Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber and co-produced by Jill Anderson, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field. EdCast An education podcast that keeps the focus simple: what makes a difference for learners, educators, parents, and communities Explore All Articles Related Articles EdCast HBCUs, Higher Ed, and Democracy’s Future How HBCUs represent a model of higher education desperately needed to save the future of democracy EdCast College Admissions During COVID How students and parents can navigated the ever-changing college admissions landscape. EdCast The Question of College Completion Rates Economist Jeff Denning explains why college completion rates have gone up in the past few decades.