NCAA president: Olympic model possible, schools don't want to pay athletes

NCAA president Mark Emmert appears to be open to the so-called Olympic model, which allows athletes to make endorsement income while maintaining status as an "amateur."

Kahron Spearman

NCAA president Mark Emmert told Ralph Russo of the Associated Press that he does believe changes are needed within collegiate athletics, but that paying athletes outright isn't necessary (h/t Bleacher Report.)

Per Russo's reporting, from a 45-minute phone interview with Emmert on Friday, the longtime president said he expects a new commission to provide proposals for NCAA rules modernization on player-agent relationships.

However, Emmert doesn't see any universities calling for direct payment.

I haven't heard any universities say that they want to change amateurism to move into a model where student-athletes are paid by universities and universities are negotiating with agents for their relationships with a school. I would be surprised if the commission came forward with that kind of recommendation.

Mark Emmert
NCAA President

There may be an acceptable avenue for athletes to benefit from their time in school, without direct harm the university or other athletic programs - allowing them to make money from their likenesses and find endorsement dollars in the open market. 

Emmert sounds supportive of the idea.

"Theres a lot of discussion about the Olympic model and think its well deserving of serious consideration inside the context of college sports," he said.

The model would benefit the star athletes, alleviating the financial pressures many face without putting their eligibility at risk.