700 readers weighed in, they still want Charlie Baker for President

700 readers weighed in, they still want Charlie Baker for President

readers say

“I’m sure he’ll do a good job as head of the NCAA, but … I’m going to make him our next president every day of the week and twice on Sunday.”

Charlie Baker becomes the next president of the NCAA, replacing Mark Emmert as head of the nation’s largest collegiate athletic body. The Associated Press

When Charlie Baker leaves the governor’s office at the end of his term, he will make his way to the National Collegiate Athletic Association to serve as its next president. The news comes as a blow to fans of the governor who were hoping he would target the White House, and there are some of our readership who aren’t ready to let the dream die.

  • Nicolaus Czarnecki/Pool

    Here’s why the NCAA picked Charlie Baker as its next president — and the challenges he faces

After Baker’s next steps were announced, we asked Boston.com readers if they considered the outgoing governor becoming president of the NCAA, and 47% of the 705 readers polled said they would run for president instead should. Another 31% said the move was a good fit, and 14% said they were perplexed by the decision. Only 5% of our readers think it’s an absolutely bad idea.

“I’m sure Charlie will be an asset to the NCAA, but our country needs Charlie Baker as our President,” said Nancy M. of Scituate. “His strong morals and sense of fairness are what this country is desperate for!” Please, Charlie!”

What do you think of Governor Charlie Baker becoming the next NCAA President?

Great move, fits perfectly

Phew, bad idea

It is confusing

He should be running for President of the United States instead!


Baker isn’t the most obvious choice for this new role. He’s spent time as a Harvard basketball player and as an assistant coach on the junior varsity team, but he has no experience on the administrative side of collegiate athletics. The NCAA noted his reputation as an excellent manager and problem solver in their job posting.

“He brings decades of experience leading transformations at high-profile institutions in both the private and public sectors,” the organization said.

Barry from Acton wants to know: “Why does he want to do this thankless job?”

As president of the collegiate athletic organization, Baker will face a number of ongoing legal challenges that could determine his future profitability from day one. Most readers think he’s up for the job, but that his skills would be put to better use in public office — particularly the highest office in the country.

  • Governor Charlie Baker.

    More than 1,000 readers voted they want Charlie Baker in the White House

In a recent poll Boston.com conducted ahead of the NCAA announcement, hundreds of Boston.com readers asked Baker to make a 2024 bid, calling him “the only Republican who could bring this country back together.”

But others understand why he wants to return to private business and think his supporters should respect that decision.

“Leave the man alone and let him choose his next role,” said Kay from Cambridge. “Not his fault, his political party is a burning garbage can.”

Baker’s term in the governor’s office ends in a few weeks, and he will take office as NCAA president on March 1. Below is a selection of responses from readers who share their thoughts on Baker’s next career moves and their opinions on Baker’s next career moves instead.

Responses have been edited slightly for length and clarity.

What do you think of Governor Charlie Baker becoming the next NCAA President?

He should be running for President of the United States instead!

“He is intelligent, reasonable and temperate. He’s also a good leader. All of these qualities would serve him well in many different jobs including this one. I would rather have him as our President.” — Evert F., Lancaster

“He may be doing an exemplary job at this new career move, but I think as a moderate Republican he would be an ideal candidate for the presidency. His leadership as governor has been surprisingly great for us (Independents, Democrats) and some, if not most, Republicans. So I personally believe he could prevail in a national election.” — Cheryl C., Norton

“I think he’s wasting his political talent.” — Josh E., Brighton

“He’s a very down-to-earth and highly respected individual, something we haven’t had for a presidential candidate in years. And while it may not have appealed to everyone, including me, over the last four years. I believe he acted in the best interest of the Commonwealth and its people.” — Melissa, North Brookfield

“Great politician. I’m sure he’ll do a good job as head of the NCAA, but if you give me the choice, I’ll take him as our next president every day of the week and twice on Sunday.” — Carlos R., Cambridge

“He can reach out to either side to try and bring this country together. For him, this is a semi-retirement job. Big disappointment!” — Joanne S., Brookline

Great move, fits perfectly.

“Obviously a departure from being governor or head of Harvard Pilgrim, but a good move for him. I think it will be less stressful for Baker than either of those jobs and I’m sure the rewards will be substantial. I don’t blame him for dropping out of politics. It must have been hell running the Commonwealth during the COVID crisis.” – Alfons, Norton

“I think it’s fantastic because he’s a real leader, trustworthy, very smart and he has a very successful CV. He will restore credibility to the NCAA and make the right decisions for them and the student athletes. Im impressed the NCAA was smart enough to hire Charlie Baker!” – Mark L., Yarmouth

“I loved Charlie as governor here, I think he did a great job as a Republican governor in a heavily Democratic state. I think the decisions he made (especially related to COVID) were very well thought out and most importantly he provided the reasons for those decisions and stood by them when others questioned them and him. I think those traits will translate well into the NCAA. However, I don’t envy the upcoming job as Emmert left the NCAA in a mess.” — Joe P., Waltham

“Good move…certainly better than the last few they had in there! The NCAA needs a businessman now as Charlie has proven to be quite competent!” – Mark D., Ipswich

“He is a person who gets along well with many stakeholders. Having made money in the private sector, he will know how to manage all that college sports money in a way that doesn’t seem as greedy as the sport looks now. — Monte P., Burlington

It is confusing.

“Administratively it is a good choice. Politics, I’m not sure. It strikes me as too corporate, too anti-work, in a no man’s land where the exploitation of young black soccer players continues, albeit in a new, mutated form. I hope I’m wrong.” — BW, Shirley

“Too disconnected. A difficult time due to the newer money rules. It will be broken soon and he won’t be able to fix it. A difficult point to damage your reputation.” — Tim G., Richford, Vt.

“Baker’s experience in the sport is fairly limited. He played basketball and track in high school, was on Harvard’s JV basketball team for a year, and later coached that team for a year. It doesn’t strike me as a background for someone who’s going to run a major sports organization.” – Shirley D., Dorchester

Boston.com occasionally interacts with readers by conducting informal polls and polls. These results should be read as an unscientific yardstick for readers’ opinions.

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