UGA President Michael Adams resigned this week as chairman of the NCAA Executive Committee, the powerful group that ultimately will choose a successor to the late Myles Brand as NCAA president.
Although the move probably will further fuel speculation about Adams as a candidate for the president’s position himself, he said on a teleconference that he stepped down with six months left on his term to ensure that those who choose the next president will be the ones still in place to work with him or her.
“It is time for new leadership at the executive committee level,” Adams said. “I feel very strongly that the group of the executive committee who will work with the next NCAA president needs to be the ones in charge of the search and in charge of that process.
“I feel like, frankly, that I have done what I came to do, and I have done what I promised Myles I would do. . . . And after almost three years of this, and particularly the amount of time it has required of me the last nine months, I’ve reminded a few people that I still have a day job at the University of Georgia. And I need to pay some additional attention there.”
The executive committee is the NCAA’s highest governance body. Adams’ final meeting as chairman was on Thursday in Indianapolis.
Although Adams has said repeatedly that he intends to remain at UGA, he often is mentioned in media speculation as a possible leading candidate to be NCAA president.
In theory, at least, Adams’ resignation as executive committee chairman could allow him to be a candidate. His successor as executive committee chair, Oregon State President Ed Ray, also will head the six-person search committee for a new NCAA president. And Ray said no one on the search committee will be considered as a candidate for the president’s position.
The decision on a new NCAA president is many months away.
Ray said on the teleconference that the committee’s next step is to retain an executive search firm, probably by mid-December. The firm will help identify “a diverse pool of candidates,” and preliminary interviews with the search committee will narrow the field to three or four finalists. Then the full executive committee will engage in interviews with the finalists before selecting and hiring a new president by fall 2010.