NCAA president Dr. Mark Emmert will be the keynote speaker at Wayne State’s ninth annual “W Day Brunch” on Saturday, celebrating the start of W Week, which focuses on the history of women’s collegiate athletics.
The event also coincides with the 100th anniversary of Wayne State’s athletic department.
Emmert, 65, has been president of the NCAA since October 2010.
“Mark has overseen the NCAA during a seven-year period of dramatic change, including efforts to address the issues of LGBT rights, sexual assault and violence, and increasing diversity of coaches and administrators,” Wayne State University president M. Roy Wilson said in a statement. “On top of that, he is a former university president and university chancellor with more than 30 years of experience in higher education. We are pleased to bring someone with his extensive knowledge and informed perspective to speak with our student-athletes and the broader community.”
His visit, though, also comes during a time when he’s taken some serious heat, including an explosive report by The Athletic that he was alerted in 2010 of 37 reports involving Michigan State athletes sexually assaulting women.
Emmert later sent an email to college administrators, saying in part, “The implication of the headline, which has also been widely repeated, is that I was informed of sexual assaults at MSU by a whistleblower and did nothing in response. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Emmert went on to detail several initiatives he says the NCAA has taken.
Emmert’s stance on paying athletes — he’s adamantly against it — also has been a hot-button issue.
The Wayne State brunch is open to the public, with tickets $20 per person — or $15 for students with ID. A table of 10 is $150.
The event starts at 11 a.m. at Wayne State’s Athletics Multipurpose Indoor Facility.
During his visit, Emmert also will meet with athletes and coaches.
“I know our student-athletes, coaches and administrators will benefit by his expertise and perspective,” athletic director Rob Fournier said.