Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will take over as the next president of the NCAA in March 2023, the organization announced Thursday morning. But Twitter users and officials had mix reactions to the announcement.
The announcement clears any talk of Baker seeking another political office, which surprised some people. Some people congratulated the governor, while others questioned his experience for the new job.
- Read more: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to be next president of NCAA after Mark Emmert
Congresswoman Lori Trahan, who is a former division I volleyball player and sponsor of the College Athlete Economic Freedom Act, praised Baker in a release for his role as Governor and looks to support him in his next role as president of the NCAA.
“Governor Baker has been an extremely effective leader in Massachusetts, having steered our Commonwealth through some of the most difficult moments in recent history. From the Merrimack Valley gas explosions to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve had the honor of seeing up close the way Governor Baker approaches leadership and the importance of bringing people together, especially in the hardest of times. We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude for his service that has undoubtedly positioned Massachusetts to succeed in the years ahead,” Trahan said.
She continued saying that the NCAA “desperately” needs a leader who understands the needs of the nearly 500,000 college athletes it serves — and Baker is the right one to do so.
“I commend Governor Baker for taking on this new challenge, and I believe his experience as a college basketball player coupled with his extensive career spanning both the public and private sectors will serve him well in this position,” she said.
Some members of the public also chimed in with congratulations.
“In all seriousness I think Charlie Baker was a fantastic governor, and a professional operator in every private and public role he’s held. The NCAA will be better with him administering,” Twitter user Matt Bloom said.
“NCAA President Charlie Baker. Have to admit, that’s got a great ring to it,” Al Anzola tweeted.
The news may have come unexpected, but some users still took time to shoutout the governor despite the sudden announcement.
“Did not have Charlie Baker as NCAA President on my Bingo Card, but hey congrats Governor Baker,” Robbie Johnson tweeted.
“Charlie Baker head of the NCAA, not gonna lie, but I like the move,” another said.
Others did not take the news as well.
“Why is Charlie Baker being named NCAA president with little to no experience,” Twitter user Dembe Zuma questioned.
Members of the NCAA might disagree with the question, as they find Baker’s time spent in athletics more than enough reason for qualification.
“As a former student-athlete himself, husband to a former college gymnast, and father to two former college football players, Governor Baker is deeply committed to our student-athletes and enhancing their collegiate experience. These skills and perspective will be invaluable as we work with policymakers to build a sustainable model for the future of college athletics,” said Linda Livingstone, president of Baylor University and chair of the NCAA Board of Governors.
“As Governor of Massachusetts and a successful private sector CEO, Charlie Baker has demonstrated the type of results-oriented, bipartisan approach that we will need to bolster the well-being of student-athletes, realize the opportunities and overcome the challenges facing the NCAA,” added Grant Hill, an independent member of the NCAA Board of Governors and member of the presidential search committee.
Some even poked fun at the new announcement.
“Despite Charlie Baker’s last name indicating otherwise, there is nothing to indicate he has ever worked at or owned a bakery. His last name is very misleading. How can we trust you to lead the NCAA if you can’t bake bread,” a Twitter user asked.
Others seemed like the decision is something they’ll settle for.
“Charlie Baker as the NCAA President is a bit of a weird pick but I guess I like it bc [because] he’s easily my favorite Republican [right now] (actually basically the only one I have any respect for anymore),” a Twitter user tweeted.
“Charlie Baker already facing more heat from college sports fans in the replies than he ever has from Massachusetts dems, voters, & press I see,” another person tweeted about the announcement.
And some can’t seem to get on board.
“I don’t know who Charlie Baker is but I am ready to hate him with all of my heart,” a Twitter user named Petey Buckets wrote.
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