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SBD/April 5, 2013/Colleges
NCAA President Emmert Spars With Media In Final Four Press Conference
Published April 5, 2013
MARK VS THE MEDIA? SI.com’s Andy Glockner noted Emmert’s comment that he kept his job anyway “oddly ... was edited out of the official transcript released afterward.” His remarks were “feisty, but in an oddly defensive way that didn’t make him come off as very much of a leader” (SI.com, 4/4). YAHOO SPORTS’ Pat Forde wrote the “only thing missing from Mark Emmert's Final Four meeting with the media was Jay Bilas firing a tranquilizer dart into the NCAA president's neck, felling him on the spot, then posing for pictures over the carcass.” Otherwise, just about “every element of a big game hunt was in place.” Emmert was “the quarry,” and he did “his best to evade capture.” But reporters “kept up the pursuit, eventually cornering Emmert and aiming every weapon in their arsenal at a bloated target that couldn't run forever.” Part of it is “personal with Emmert: his cowboy approach to applying outside-the-box justice to Penn State struck many as a grandstand move.” And his style of leadership has “rubbed plenty of people wrong on both the inside and outside of the association.” But the “far bigger problem is the very entity of the NCAA,” as it remains a “slow, secretive and complex organization in a time of unprecedented societal impatience and transparency” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/4).
LIGHT MY FIRE: ESPN.com’s Dana O’Neil wrote Emmert’s remarks were “equal parts defiant, combative and downright snippy,” and he got “as close to a verbal duel with the media as maybe anyone in NCAA history.” Emmert's “verbal sparring and in most cases, downright refusal to answer any pointed questions with direct responses, only heightened the notion that both he and the organization he heads are under fire like never before in their history.” Emmert kept mentioning “change as the culprit, as if the problem here is that the NCAA has decided to deregulate the rulebook or offer new recruiting rules.” But O’Neil wrote the “problems are much deeper, systemic and personal than that.” Either Emmert is “naïve in thinking that this is about some simple change, or too stubborn to acknowledge the depth of his organization's mess” (ESPN.com, 4/4). In Chicago, Rick Telander notes Emmert is a “career college sports administrator who always has been able to leave Dodge just before the sheriff arrives” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/5).
MAKING A CASE FOR THE CASES: The Univ. of Miami is calling the investigation into its athletic department "corrupted from the start." Miami has told the NCAA's Committee on Infractions that it “would agree to any properly corroborated allegations against the Hurricanes if the case is brought to a swift end and without any further penalties.” The AP’s Tim Reynolds noted the school "made that offer in the motion filed last week to dismiss the case." UM wants “the infractions committee -- which is not the NCAA's investigative arm, but a separate group -- to use the broad power it has under the association's bylaws to end the case before it even goes to a hearing, scheduled to begin in June.” Miami also “makes several accusations that the NCAA lied to the school.” It is unclear “what happens next -- when the motion will be heard, if the motion will be heard and who would even actually hear the motion” (AP, 4/4). Meanwhile, in Syracuse, Donnie Webb noted Emmert “declined to address the investigation into the Syracuse University men’s basketball program.” He was asked if the NCAA “had the power to change a pattern of programs like Syracuse, Connecticut and Kansas appearing in the Final Four while either under significant investigation or on probation.” Emmert said, “You know what the association has the power to do? It's not me, it's the membership itself, the membership has the authority to create rules; it has the authority to have the staff of the NCAA conduct enforcement investigations” (SYRACUSE.com, 4/4).