Mark Emmert's contract extended

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mark Emmert did enough in his first 17 months as the NCAA president to get a 24-month extension.

On Friday, the executive committee unanimously approved a deal to keep Emmert in office through October 2017.

"I am grateful for the executive committee's support during this critical period of time in intercollegiate athletics," Emmert said in a statement that was posted on the NCAA's web site. "I look forward to continuing to work with presidents, commissioners, athletics directors, coaches and other leaders as we strengthen our service to student-athletes."

It hasn't been an easy start for Emmert.

The fifth chief executive in NCAA history was hired in the spring of 2010, then remained Washington's president until taking office in October 2010. Since then, Emmert has presided over one of the most tumultuous periods in NCAA history.

There were shocking sex-abuse allegations at Penn State and Syracuse, a rash of major infractions cases at high-profile college football programs and even the highly publicized case of Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton's, whose father was allegedly shopping his son's services.

Emmert responded by pushing for rapid changes.

Many of the measures, particularly tougher academic standards, have been embraced by university presidents. Others, such as his support for a $2,000 allowance toward the full cost of attendance and multiyear scholarships instead of annual renewals, have already run into enough opposition that some considered it a revolt against Emmert's leadership.

Not exactly.

"This action signals the executive committee's unwavering support for Mark's incredible vision and leadership," said Ed Ray, the executive committee chairman and Oregon State's president. "He is exactly the right person the association needs to lead the NCAA through this very important time in our history."

On Friday, at the NCAA's annual convention, Emmert told about 400 Division I delegates he would continue the push for swift changes to put education first and maintain the governing body's amateurism rules.