President Obama's point man on education delivered a tough message of reform during the keynote luncheon of the NCAA's 106th annual convention in Indianapolis.
"You can implement far reaching reforms to reassert the educational mission of the universities and colleges," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "I don't believe you can meet these challenges by doing business as usual."
"I don't know what the NCAA membership will ultimately decide about these initiatives but it seems clear that they are steps in the right direction to protect student athletes and put their interests first."
Emmert has experienced push back from some Division 1 programs to his proposals but other university and college presidents agree change is needed.
"It is difficult for some Division 1 presidents and it's difficult at some institutions to be able to respond to some of those pressures that are out there," said Drew Bogner, president of Malloy College on Long Island, New York.
Student athletes support Emmert's changes.
"He is in line with the vision from a Division 1 perspective," said former track star and Academic All American Scott Krapf. "The presidents have laid out an agenda that is aggressive, bold and progressive but I think it's got the right alignment of having the student athlete at its core philosophy."
Duncan pulled no punches in the address at the Indiana Convention Center as he spoke of the Penn State football child molestation allegations and the Ohio State football scandal which cost head coach Jim Tressel his job. Duncan also referred to the recent multi-billion dollar television contracts negotiated for college sports.
"The narrative for 2012 is that college sports is all about the deal, all about the brand," said Duncan. "It's all about the big time college football program saying, 'Show me the money.' I think it is a problem that the BCS conferences use zero percent of their bowl game revenue for educational components or to support student academic success."
Duncan also endorsed rules that will force improvement of student athlete academics by 2015.
"If the metric to being on track to a 50 percent graduation rate was used in last year's basketball tournament, the national champion Connecticut would have been ineligible to participate."
The Connecticut Huskies defeated the Butler Bulldogs for the championship.
"Five of this year's 70 teams in the BCS bowl games would have also been ineligible."
NCAA President Emmert will talk about his reform goal Thursday afternoon. Division 1 university presidents will consider those reforms during a meeting Saturday.