Charlie Baker
Boston MA: 6-1-20: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker held his daily press conference in Gardner Auditorium at the Massachusetts State House, where he made a statement and responded to reporters’ questions about the riots in Boston on Sunday night. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has named its next president. Current Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will succeed Dr. Mark Emmert as the president of the governing body of most college sports. Baker will assume the role effectively March 2023. His term as Governor of Massachusetts ends in January.

The head of the NCAA Board of Governors, Linda Livingstone, highlighted Baker’s time as a Republican governor in a heavily Democratic state as a way to bridge divides the NCAA is currently experiencing. The Board of Governors also put focus on Baker’s athletic background. Baker played basketball at the collegiate level at Harvard. His wife was a college gymnast and two of their children also played college football. Livingstone described Baker’s commitment to student-athletes as “invaluable” as the NCAA works with lawmakers going forward.

The move comes at a significant time for the NCAA. College sports have seen major legal shifts in recent years, and the NCAA’s ability to regulate college athletics has been called into question. In a statement, Baker said, “the awesome opportunity college athletics provides to so many students is more than worth the challenge.”

While Baker will succeed Dr. Mark Emmert in March, Emmert will stay on as an NCAA consultant through June.

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