FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 30th, 2020

NCAA PRESIDENT MARK EMMERT ON STUDENT-ATHLETE COMPENSATION; DEION SANDERS ON AARON RODGERS — QUOTES FROM TODAY’S EPISODES OF LUNCH TALK LIVE WITH MIKE TIRICO AND THE RICH EISEN SHOW ON NBCSN

“They’re not playing the game for a paycheck, they’re playing it as part of their experience of being a student at a university and this change doesn’t alter that fundamental principle.” – Mark Emmert on the NCAA approving changes to allow student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness

“The biggest variable here isn’t when we can play a game, it’s when can schools reopen?” – Emmert on the fall sports schedule

“You have to understand you have a quarterback that’s going to turn 40 in a couple years. And you think it’s absurd to start thinking about a replacement? This is the only position where that is an insult.” – Deion Sanders on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers

 “First and foremost, (Derek) Carr is our quarterback…We believe in both Marcus Mariota the person and the football player…We just could not resist adding that kind of talent to the quarterback room.” – Mike Mayock on the Raiders’ QB situation

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 30, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • NCAA President Mark Emmert
    • Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright
    • NHL on NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk
    • NBC Sports horse racing reporter Britney Eurton

The Rich Eisen Show followed Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN, as host Rich Eisen was joined by:

    • Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders
    • Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock
    • Former San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley
    • Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey

 

Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Mark Emmert on the current landscape within the NCAA: “Making some important decisions, trying to figure out how to operate in this strange new world and how to do it with a heck of a lot less money. We lost our largest revenue supply (the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament), so we had to reduce our budget a little over 45%.”

Emmert on the NCAA’s NIL (name, image and likeness) discussions: “I’ve been doing this for almost a decade now. Over that timeframe and well before that, the fundamental principle around college sports hasn’t changed at all and that’s the notion that college athletes are not employees of universities. They’re not playing the game for a paycheck, they’re playing it as part of their experience of being a student at a university and this change doesn’t alter that fundamental principle…I’m excited about this. I think it will be a very positive shift for a lot of reasons…We now have a space where young men and women are showing up to colleges with a significant social media presence, already being influencers.”

Emmert on how to guard against the integrity of the games with the new NIL guidelines: “It’s the biggest challenge…There’s a lot to be explored here, there’s a lot of discussion about whether or not there should be a third-party entity put into place that can assess and…determine if a sponsorship deal looks legitimate or not. By doing it in a public sphere, you can also see who is supporting that deal and if they are affiliated with a school or not…A lot of young people will need professional advice (from agents/advisors)…Having somebody use this as a brokerage arrangement with a school to go to a particular school, that’s where the NCAA is going to have to say no.”

Emmert on the NCAA working with Congress around the new NIL guidelines: “We’ve reached a place where there’s enough governmental engagement around each of the states that we simply have to have Congress involved. You can’t run a sports system with 50 sets of rules … to have fair national championships, which is the most important part of college sports.”

Emmert on COVID-19’s impact on the NCAA: “The fact is the NCAA generates revenue only from its official championships, and the only one that generates consequential revenue is the Men’s Basketball Tournament…That distribution (to schools and universities) had to be cut dramatically, and so schools and conferences are dealing with a smaller distribution coming from the basketball tournament…We’re working on a shoestring like everyone today…To rip away the Men’s Tournament and Frozen Four was gut-wrenching.”

Emmert on NCAA fall sports discussion: “It’s going to be very unpredictable. We’re relying on federal, state and local health officials which means this could be very different across parts of the country…The biggest variable here isn’t when we can play a game, it’s when can schools reopen?”

Eddie Olczyk on the Kentucky Derby being rescheduled for September 5: “This opens up the door for the possibility of horses really maturing here over the next couple of weeks and months…We didn’t know a lot about Justify until his three-year campaign and then he went on to win the Triple Crown…It opens up the door for horses that are finding their way to blossom the first Saturday of September.”

Olczyk on the virtual Kentucky Derby Triple Crown Showdown: “What a great idea and what a way to celebrate the 13 Triple Crown winners.”

Olczyk on Saturday’s Arkansas Derby: “All about Bob Baffert. If you can beat Bob Baffert, you certainly think you have a chance reaching the first Saturday in September. Division 1, it’s all Baffert with the one horse (Charlatan) and in Division 2, I think (the race) is absolutely wide-open.”

Olczyk on developments regarding the NHL’s return to play: “I think Commissioner (Gary Bettman) has done an amazing job of keeping everyone updated…It’s a real positive sign. First and foremost, we have to make sure we are in a healthy place beyond all of what we are battling as a society…It looks like we are trending in a really good direction, and hopefully getting closer to a sense of normalcy.”

Adam Wainwright on the potential options for MLB to resume play: “The three-division plan sounds pretty good. I like the idea of playing in our own cities, that makes a lot of sense to me.”

Wainwright on witnessing his children’s virtual learning: “Teachers need to get paid more. It is a job of sacrifice and a thankless job really, isn’t it? Teachers are just incredible”

Britney Eurton on horse racing continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic: “It’s nice to give people some sort of distraction. It’s nice that in a safe environment, horse racing can continue…bringing people live sports because it’s the only game in town right now.”

Eurton on interviewing Saints head coach Sean Payton days before he tested positive for COVID-19: “I woke up every single day wondering how I was going to feel. I’m grateful that I never incurred any symptoms.”

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Deion Sanders on the Packers drafting QB Jordan Love: “I like it. You have to understand you have a quarterback that’s going to turn 40 in a couple years. And you think it’s absurd to start thinking about a replacement? This is the only position where that is an insult.”

Sanders on Aaron Rodgers: “You’ve got to help that next man. That’s what team is all about.”

Sanders on his experience mentoring the new players: “He [CB Bruce Pickens] was the third pick overall (by the Falcons). I was the fifth. He was higher than me. It was my responsibility, I felt, to get him ready to play…players coach players.”

Matthew McConaughey on his new COVID-19-related PSA with boxer Canelo Álvarez: “Spanish-speaking viewers weren’t getting the message, so I said who would they listen to? They might listen to me speaking my broken Spanish, but I need to find someone else who can speak it better than me that they’d look up to…I called him [Alvarez] and he said he was in. Wrote it, directed him over text and that’s what we got.”

McConaughey on the eventual return of football in the United States: “The day will be remembered on many calendars for the rest of many lives when our first game comes back…We are calling audibles at the line of scrimmage on all of this.”

McConaughey, an avid Redskins fan, on the team’s future: “I like where we’re heading. We’ve needed to get our compass corrected here for a while…Ron Rivera, I love the hire. I love his mindset and I love how he is changing the culture.”

Mike Mayock on first-round pick WR Henry Ruggs: “The pure speed of Henry Ruggs is what changed things for us. When you get a guy like Ruggs, not only are you getting the vertical threat…you’re getting those manufactured ones.”

Mayock on how third-round pick Lynn Bowden fits in the Raiders’ offense: “We envision Lynn Bowden doing a variety of jobs for us, but primarily he is going to be a running back.”

Mayock on first-round CB Damon Arnett: “What we saw in 35 starts at Ohio State, we thought he was the most competitive cornerback in this draft as far as the guy that showed up every week.”

Mayock on the Raiders’ QB situation: “First and foremost, (Derek) Carr is our quarterback. (Head coach) Jon (Gruden) and I love what he did last year…Year three in Gruden’s offense, we expect him to get better…(Marcus Mariota) knows we believe in both Marcus Mariota the person, more importantly, and Marcus Mariota the football player…We just could not resist adding that kind of talent to the quarterback room.”

Joe Staley on announcing his retirement: “It was time for me and the family. This last year, I missed the most games I’ve missed in my career with the broken leg and I had this thing in my neck that I was dealing with…I realized I was going to have to talk to a lot of doctors after the season…and got a bunch of opinions. When I realized it wasn’t going to be favorable, I weighed everything and realized it was time.”

Staley on losing weight after announcing his retirement: “Every offensive lineman’s dream as they’re playing football, and you’re playing for a long time, is how much you miss being able to be at a healthy normal weight.”

Staley on former teammates: “Frank Gore is number one on my list. I think he knows now because I’ve made a point of telling him how much of an impact he had on my career…He set the example of what a pro athlete and NFL player is.”

Staley on 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo: “Jimmy’s been nothing but unbelievable since the day he got in there. He worked incredibly hard to learn the entire offense. He was put in a position where he was going to be the savior of our entire franchise.”

–NBC SPORTS–