'This Week' Transcript: NCAA President Mark Emmert

ByABC News
August 10, 2014, 10:40 AM
University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides and NCAA President Mark Emmert on 'This Week'
University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides and NCAA President Mark Emmert on 'This Week'
ABC News

August 10, 2014— -- Below is the rush transcript of "This Week" on August 10th, 2014. It may contain errors.

ANNOUNCER: Right now on ABC's "This Week," fair strikes.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think we're going to solve in weeks. I think this is going to take some time.


ANNOUNCER: U.S. fighter jets back in the skies over Iraq dropping bombs to protect American citizens and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. Breaking details on the dangerous mission.

Ebola emergency: the latest on the desperate effort to contain the growing outbreak. Are we prepared for a new virus threat?

Plus, gamechanger -- the NCAA told it must allow athletes to be paid. Will college sports ever be the same? This morning, an ABC News exclusive, the president of the NCAA here live.

From ABC News, this week with George Stephanopoulos begins now.

MARTHA RADDATZ, HOST: Good morning, great to have you with us. I'm Martha Raddatz.

We begin with the latest on the New U.S. mission in Iraq. This weekend, more U.S. airstrikes against ISIS militants, plus new air drops of humanitarian aid to help thousands of civilians trapped on a mountain by ISIS fighters.

And just overnight, the UN telling us at least 15,000 civilians have been able to escape.

Meanwhile, President Obama is warning U.S. military action in Iraq is a long-term project.

Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl has the very latest with the president on Martha's Vineyard.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Overnight, the Pentagon released new information on the latest air strikes against terrorist targets in northern Iraq. At 11:20 Eastern Time, fighter jets and drones destroyed an armored personnel carrier threatening an Iraqi minority group. Twenty minutes later, U.S. aircraft struck three more targets with a follow-up strike destroying another. At 3:00 p.m. Eastern, the final target of the day was demolished.

President Obama bluntly acknowledged there is no foreseeable end to U.S. military operations in Iraq.

OBAMA: I'm not going to give a particular timetable, because as I've said from the start wherever and whenever U.S. personnel and facilities are threatened, it's my obligation, my responsibility as commander-in-chief to make sure that they are protected.

KARL: A key concern, the U.S. consulate and hundreds of Americans in the city of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish area in northern Iraq and once thought to be Iraq's safest city is now threatened by Islamic militant group ISIS, fighters whose ferocity the president and his advisers had low-balled.

OBAMA: There is no doubt that their advance, their movement over the last several months has been more rapid than the intelligence estimates than I think the expectations of policymakers both in and outside of Iraq.

KARL: President Obama reaffirmed his promise not to send in ground troops and had this message for critics who say the U.S. would be in a better position is all U.S. troops had not been withdrawn.

OBAMA: The only difference would be we'd have a bunch of troops on the ground that would be vulnerable.

KARL: The U.S. is also dropping relief supplies to a minority group trapped on a mountaintop. The UN now says more than 15,000 have been rescued, but thousands are still in jeopardy. And U.S. planes are at risk, too, on these missions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These cargo airplanes, which are not very maneuverable and do not have the same defensive capabilities that, say, a fighter jet does have to get very low and very slow to the ground and they have to open up the back, the ramp, and they have to push things out. And so they're actually more vulnerable.


KARL: The president is here on Martha's Vineyard for his family vacation. He's already played a round of golf, but White House advisers say that he is closely monitoring military operations over Iraq and receiving regular briefings. He has brought key members of his national security team with him to the vineyard, including National Security Adviser Susan Rice -- Martha.

RADDATZ: Thanks, Jon.

Now let's get the very latest on the ground in Iraq from Matt Bradley of the Wall Street Journal. Matt, give us a sense of how concerned people are about Erbil.

MATT BRADLEY, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, we have to remember that Erbil was a flourishing city that was growing economically over the last 10 years, especially in relation to Baghdad and some of these other southern cities where I am now, that's it's not quite clear whether or not the peshmerga units who are there, these Kurdish fighters, will be able to defend the city. It's come as a major, major surprise that this ragtag group of Islamist militias were able to make some serious military gains against the peshmerga just in the last week.

So, it's -- it is a major concern that Erbil could fall, especially considering that these guys are only about 30 minutes away.

RADDATZ: But you've got these airstrikes going on. You've got these stranded people on Sinjar Mountain, this is going to be a long-term commitment no matter what, it seems, from the U.S.

BRADLEY: That's what President Obama was saying in his speech yesterday. There's no real short-term solution to this conflict.

We could say that this conflict could look like Libya where the United States' intervention is confined just the aerial bombardments, but really the crux of the fight is going to have to come down to the Iraqi military, which has fled in the face of the Islamic State militants over the last two months and the Kurdish peshmerga who have really shown themselves to be outgunned and outmaneuvered by the Islamic State.

They are a formidable military force and it's going to be very hard to see how the Iraqi army and the peshmerga are going to be able to win back some of the land that they've already taken.

RADDATZ: Thanks very much, Matt.

BRADLEY: Thank you.

RADDATZ: Thank you, Matt.

Now for more on the strategy in Iraq, General Carter Ham who commanded U.S. and coalition forces in Mosul, and Christopher Hill is a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

I want to start with you, General Ham, you know Mosul, Erbil, that area so well. I spent a lot of time there with you over the years.

As you look at these small strikes on artillery, mortar positions, can they really have a long-term affect on ISIS.

GEN. CARTER HAM, FRM. U.S. COMMANDER IN MOSUL: Martha, I think the initial strikes are already having some effect. A few strikes by the United States, many more by the Iraqi air force which is encouraging, it appears to have at least given pause to the Islamic extremists as they seek to advance toward Erbil and other cities, but much more effort will be required to achieve a positive outcome longer-term.

RADDATZ: Or long-term effect. Is there a danger of mission creep here?

HAM: I don't think so. The president, of course, has very clearly stated no combat forces, but here remains to be seen how much support the United States is ready to provide, in my view, first to the Kurdish regional government in Iraq and their armed forces, the peshmerga, but longer term to help hopefully a new Iraq government rebuild the Iraqi military.

RADDATZ: But you heard what the president said his goals were -- protect Americans, stop the humanitarian crisis, don't allow safe havens and protect the infrastructure like the Mosul dam.

How can you accomplish that without combat troops? And how long does that take?

HAM: It will be very difficult without U.S. ground forces or ground forces of others, which may -- they may be willing to participate, but it really centers around what the, I think, the president is right, there has got to be a responsible government in Baghdad to which a future Iraqi army can be loyal. I think that was the underlying cause for their very quick evaporation under pressure from the Islamic extremists.

RADDATZ: And Ambassador Hill, I want to play part of an interview I did with the current U.S. ambassador in Iraq, Steve Beecroft. I did think this in January. And even then, he seemed to be waving a red flag about the violence there.


RADDATZ: How concerned should Americans be about what's going on here now.

STEVE BEECROFT, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: Well, we have real interests in the Middle East and we have real interests in Iraq. Those aren't going to go away any time soon. We should be very, very concerned.


RADDATZ: Ambassador Hill, should the U.S. have been paying more attention to Iraq?

CHRISTOPHER HILL, FRM. U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: Well, first of all I think people are paying attention to Iraq, but there are a lot of other crises in the world that may have drowned it out somewhat or reduced the bandwidth for Iraq, but certainly this is a problem that is not just in Iraq, it's a broader problem, ISIS, whatever its origins, it's pretty clear that it is part of a situation in Syria that has metastasized into Iraq.

And frankly speaking, although I think an improvement or the naming of a new prime minister not named Maliki might be helpful, I don't think it's going to in and of itself solve this problem.

RADDATZ: Well, let me tell you something that Hillary Clinton told the Atlantic. She said the failure to help Syrian rebels led to the rise of ISIS. Do you agree?

HILL: I would put it a little differently. First of all, the idea that you can arm some rebels and not others I think is a difficult proposition in and of itself. I think the failure to focus on Syria, the failure to come up with a political or diplomatic way forward -- after all, if Bashar al-Assad were hit by a bus today, there would still be a problem in Syria, because no one knows what that country is going to look like in the future.

And so the failure to come up with any kind of forward looking diplomatic plan keeps people out there fighting, because they have no confidence that the international community is coalescing around anything.

So I think that's the major problem in Syria, more so than the idea that we haven't put more weapons out on the battlefield.

RADDATZ: And General Ham, I just want to quickly talk to you. were the commander of Africom during Benghazi. This certainly has had an effect on the president's decision, according to some senior policymakers. What lessons learned there when you look at Iraq?

HAM: Well, the circumstances are very, very different. Of course there was, at least as far as I am aware, no indications of imminent attack against the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi. Current circumstance is very different in Iraq where there is an imminent threat. It's very present and it's known.

So the -- the level of preparation, I think, is much more significant in Iraq today than -- than it was -- than was possible in -- in Libya in 2012.

RADDATZ: Thanks very much, General Ham.

And thanks Ambassador Hill.

So what about this group, ISIS?

We know so little about them. The army of jihadists surprised just about everyone with their fast and violent sweep through Iraq.

And now, Vice News has captured stunning new images of the faces behind the terror.


RADDATZ (voice-over): The Islamic militant group ISIS in Syria and Iraq is so extreme that traditional al Qaeda has disavowed it. And now, from Vice News, video from inside the militants' stranglehold -- surreal scenes from the Syrian city of Raqqah -- families enjoying the coolness of the Euphrates. But even here, there is always something more sinister, even with the children.


RADDATZ: And what happens in Syria affects Iraq, and vice-versa. The treasures from the march on Baghdad are proudly paraded through Raqqah, along with new recruits from around the world.


RADDATZ: Here, the group is known simply as IS, or Islamic State. At a nighttime gathering, recruiting continues -- "Beautiful virgins are calling. Enroll me as a martyr, this man sings." A call and response to excite the crowd.



RADDATZ: Joining us now, Kevin Sutcliffe from Vice News.

Incredible images there, Kevin.

The people you had embedded there, what do they tell you about how this group has grown to rapidly and advanced so far?

KEVIN SUTCLIFFE, VICE NEWS: Well, less than a year ago, when Vice -- we started covering the whole issue of Syria, ISIS, as they were then, were one of the small factions fighting for the Islamic factions. And they were just in the mix in -- in the civil war in Syria.

They've professionalized. They've added a command and control structure. They are an army now. And you can see the way they swept across into Iraq, dissolving the border and establishing the caliphate. That this is -- this is a force to be reckoned with.

They've now got weapons they have looted from Iraq. They've brought them back to Raqqah, as you saw. A filmmaker was in Raqqah for a few weeks.

RADDATZ: American weapons.

SUTCLIFFE: Americans weapons, (INAUDIBLE) tanks. They were -- he was there for three weeks and he saw how they're establishing a state.

RADDATZ: How do they hold territory?

Do they encircle it?

Do they scare everybody?

What's going on in these towns where they're holding people in Iraq, like Mosul?

SUTCLIFFE: Well, in a town like Raqqah, we filmed religious police walking around enforcing the law. The law is Sharia law, which is a very, very hard line Islamic interpretation. Minor infractions we see in our film or post (INAUDIBLE) which is a bit of a Western film poster. The demand is to take down woman at all, to put hijabs on, to cover.

The -- the -- this is done at the point of a gun. The religious police are armed and everybody knows that you will be going to prison and a judge -- a Sharia judge could give you an amazing punishment.

RADDATZ: But you've got the air strikes going on now around Erbil.

Will this scare them?

Will this stop them?

What do you think the effect will be?

SUTCLIFFE: I think that it's a -- it's a pinprick over to one side. They've got 30, 40 percent of the territory now. They are expanding. They are expansionist. I think they will welcome the attention and the air strikes have brought them, the world attention. And I think they -- they -- they have no fear. You know, they're on a mission from God. They're very fundamentalist in the way -- in their approach. And I think that we're just going to see more of this, we're not going to see less. They -- they are on the march.

RADDATZ: Very, very frightening stuff.

Thank you very much for those reports.

Up next, the college sports stunner -- will a new court ruling lead to big payouts for student athletes?

The NCAA president responds live -- his first interview since the decision came down.

Plus, brand new details on the Ebola emergency. We're on the ground with virus hunters racing to identify the next outbreak.

Back in just two minutes.


RADDATZ: Now our Closer Look at an earthquake in the billion dollar world of college sports. A federal judge ruling in some instances, student athletes should get paid. The president of the NCAA is standing by live to offer his exclusive first response to the ruling, after this from ESPN's Tom Farrey.


TOM FARREY, ESPN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a sweeping ruling that could forever change college sports, opening the door for student athletes to cash in from their play on the field.

Federal Judge Claudia Wilken writing Friday that college players should be able to, quote, "Receive a limited share of the revenue generated from the use of their own names, images and likenesses."

At the center of the case, former UCLA basketball star, Ed O'Bannon, MVP of the Bruins 1995 NCAA Championship. When he saw his image used in a videogame five years ago, he decided to sue the NCAA.

ED O'BANNON, FORMER BASKETBALL PLAYER: I realized that I hadn't been compensated or even told that I was going to be on this videogame. And I just thought that that was wrong.

FARREY: It's an argument NCAA critics have made for years, that college athletes should share in the billions in profits from college sports. The impact of the ruling, beginning in 2016, players can receive annual payments covering full college costs and universities can set up trust funds capped at $5,000 a year per player.

O'BANNON: Look, it's a start. It's something. At this point, anything is better than what the players -- the athletes were getting.

FARREY (on camera): Why has this case, this claim, meant so much to you?

O'BANNON: This has never been about me. This has always been about the rights of the athletes, present, past and future.

FARREY: And that huge decision comes just one day after another major change in college sports -- the NCAA's board voting to allow its five largest and wealthiest conferences to essentially play by their own rules and expand benefits to athletes, including more money to cover full college costs and greater health benefits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the -- the story line on this is that student athletes win. We all know it costs more than room, board, books, tuition and fees to go to college. And this is reflective of that.

FARREY: But many believe the NCAA's decision was simply an attempt to keep these large, revenue generating conferences known as the Power Five, from walking away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this absolutely was a reactionary move by the NCAA. I think they were very concerned that the Power Five conferences could split off on their own, because they would definitely survive without the NCAA's help. They've got the products because they've got the players and the schools that matter.

FARREY: For the average fan, it's unclear whether this week's actions will change the game on the field, though the strong will get stronger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most people already believe there's a chasm between non-Power conference schools and the Power Five, but it's only going to get even greater right now. And within the Power Five itself, you're going to see an arms race where people will start spending more money on not only their facilities, but actually directly into student athletes' pockets and that is a very slippery slope.

FARREY: For THIS WEEK, Tom Farrey, ESPN, Henderson, Nevada.


RADDATZ: Conference schools and the Power Five, but it's only going to get even greater right now. And within the Power Five itself, you're going to see an arms race where people will start spending more money on not only their facilities, but actually directly into student athletes' pockets and that is a very slippery slope.

FARREY: For THIS WEEK, Tom Farrey, ESPN, Henderson, Nevada.


RADDATZ: All right, thanks to Tom.

Joining us now in his first interview since that big court decision, Dr. Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, along with Dr. Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina and a member of the NCAA's board of directors.

I want to start with you, Dr. Emmert.

First on the O'Bannon ruling.

You testified during the trial that the definition of amateurism boils down to you're not paid.

So does this ruling turn college sports into pro sports?

DR. MARK EMMERT, PRESIDENT, NCAA: Well, I think it potentially could. There's a lot in the ruling that I think is admirable and that's consistent with arguments that we've been making all along. And there are some things about it that we really fundamentally disease -- disagree with, most notably, we disagree that there's a violation of anti-trust laws going on here. And we'll probably continue to argue that in the coming months and beyond.

But it -- it has the potential to fundamentally shift intercollegiate athletics in ways that many people are concerned about.

RADDATZ: So will you appeal the decision?

EMMERT: Yes, at least in part, we will. Again, no one in our legal team or in the college conferences legal teams believes that the -- the current rules are violations of anti-trust laws and we need to get that settled in the courts.

RADDATZ: During the trial, Ed O'Bannon said, "I was an athlete masquerading as a student. I was there strictly to play basketball. I did basically the minimum to make sure I kept my eligibility academically so I could continue to play."

Can you really argue that these types of athletes are amateurs?

EMMERT: Well, it's a decision that Mr. O'Bannon made when he was a -- a student, right?

He had every opportunity to do as much as he wanted in school as he desired. He got a degree from the university and many, many, many thousands of student athletes take full advantage of the opportunity to be both a student and an athlete while they're in college.

And the vast majority of them graduate. More graduate than -- than the students who aren't student athletes.

So I believe strongly, and, more importantly, the evidence demonstrates, that, indeed, they are students.

RADDATZ: Dr. Pastides, I want to turn to you.

The judge set a potential cap on payments to athletes at just $5,000. But schools like yours in South Carolina make millions of dollars on these athletes.

So should they be paid more than a few thousand dollars?

DR. HARRIS PASTIDES, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, MEMBER NCAA BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Well, Martha, I think that the governance reform that was passed last Thursday allows us to do this. I think that's the right context for doing that.

Sure, we need to share more of the resources with stay with us. My own coaches have said that. We need to provide them what we call the full cost of attendance, better health and safety benefits, better professional counseling.