SBD/April 3, 2013/Colleges

NCAA President Mark Emmert Decribed As Salesman Who "Escapes Blame" In Scandals

NCAA President Mark Emmert is "the man entrusted as the NCAA's moral compass" and is "seen as both a deft manager with politician-like savvy and a self-serving salesman who escapes blame when scandal visits," according to a front-page piece by Brent Schrotenboer of USA TODAY. Schrotenboer: "Rightly or wrongly, he has a history of dodging blame in scandals that have festered on his campuses, sometimes moving on to a more lucrative job before their full extent becomes known." These issues occurred during his tenures at Montana State, the Univ. of Washington, UConn and LSU. Communications Strategist Jonathan Pelto, who co-chaired an investigation into alleged mismanagement of a construction project at UConn by Emmert, said, "When you Google 'Emmert,' you do sort of see this pattern, which is he's a great front man, but there always seems to be these problems with the people around him. Does he trust bad people? Is the problem that he doesn't know what's going on? Is the problem that he does know what's going on and doesn't do anything about it?" R. William Funk & Associates Founder & President Bill Funk, a friend of Emmert's, said, "He is a master of public relations. He's extraordinary externally … the consummate president." LSU physics professor Ravi Rau said, "It may be cynical, but with Mark Emmert, I saw a pattern." Rau said that Emmert "'feathered his nest' with sports success at UConn and LSU to boost his candidacy for new jobs with bigger salaries" (USA TODAY, 4/3).
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