NCAA’s Mark Emmert: The value of college sports

The men’s college basketball Final Four this weekend in Glendale, Ariz., brings a visit from the association’s president, who related athletics’ relevant records and statistics are important for the way in which they can affect societies surrounding them.

Mark Emmert spoke at the Economic Club of Phoenix Luncheon on March 29. While he’s in town for the March Madness finale, his close connection with ASU President Michael Crow surely made his visit all the sweeter. It’s also the first time it has come to the Valley of the Sun, and it’s the first time in the West since Seattle hosted it in 1995. Emmert shared how sports transcend differences, bringing people together. He focused on the NCAA’s priorities and economics. And most importantly, Emmert stressed communities, universities, and students benefit from sports despite the cost of college athletics.

While we have more connectivity than ever before, we also have many things isolating us from each other. It shows up in many ways, not the least of which is our politics. Sports has this remarkable unifying function. It brings people together in ways that are independent of socioeconomics, race, or gender.

Listen to Emmert’s presentation in this podcast: