NCAA president is under fire for saying LaVar Ball's son should not have been in college if he was just there to prepare for his career

  • Mark Emmert appeared to criticize LiAngelo Ball for using UCLA to prepare for a career as a pro basketball player.
  • LaVar Ball recently pulled LiAngelo Ball from UCLA after he was suspended indefinitely.
  • LaVar Ball said at the time that "one of the main reasons [LiAngelo Ball] went to UCLA" was to play basketball.


NCAA president Mark Emmert is under fire for comments made during a conference about whether or not LiAngelo Ball should have been at UCLA at all before his father pulled him from the school.

Emmert was a guest at the 2017 Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum when LaVar Ball was brought up. Ball recently announced that he pulled LiAngelo Ball out of UCLA following his indefinite suspension from the basketball program. According to Ball, the move was made because the NCAA was being slow to rule on LiAngelo Ball's eligibility and "one of the main reasons he went to UCLA" was to play basketball.

Emmert said LiAngelo Ball should not have been at UCLA if he was only there to prepare for a career as a pro basketball player.

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LiAngelo Ball, teammates return from China
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LiAngelo Ball, teammates return from China
UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball (R) and Cody Riley arrive at LAX after flying back from China where they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball arrives at LAX after flying back from China where he was detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball arrives at LAX after flying back from China where he was detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball (R) and Cody Riley arrive at LAX after flying back from China where they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball (R) and Cody Riley arrive at LAX after flying back from China where they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball (R) and Cody Riley arrive at LAX after flying back from China where they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball arrives at LAX after flying back from China where he was detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball (R) and Cody Riley arrive at LAX after flying back from China where they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball arrives at LAX after flying back from China where he was detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball players Cody Riley, LiAngelo Ball, and Jalen Hill arrive to speak at a press conference at UCLA after flying back from China where they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball players Cody Riley, LiAngelo Ball, and Jalen Hill speak at a press conference at UCLA after flying back from China where they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball players Cody Riley, LiAngelo Ball and Jalen Hill speak at a press conference at UCLA after flying back from China, where they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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"Is this a part of someone being part of your university as a student-athlete or is it about using college athletics to prepare yourself to be a pro?," Emmert said, via Jason Belzer of Forbes. "If it's the latter, you shouldn't be there in the first place."

Many were quick to criticize the NCAA president, noting that the main purpose of universities is to prepare students for professional careers. It is not clear why Emmert believes athletes should be exempt from that mission.

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