SBD/August 12, 2013/Colleges

Mark Emmert Responds To Growing Number Of Critics Calling For His Ouster

Emmert admits to mistakes that have frustrated others in college sports
Critics "contend there is only way to only one way to restore the NCAA's tattered image: Find a new president," according to Michael Marot of the AP. Univ. of Oklahoma Senior Associate AD/Academics Gerald Gurney said of NCAA President Mark Emmert, "He should have been gone yesterday, as far as I'm concerned. He's absolutely unable to get anything through the NCAA system." But Marot wrote Emmert has "ignored the growing calls for his resignation and he doesn't sound like a man planning to leave any time soon." Emmert said, "Have I done things in ways that were inappropriate or frustrated people by mistakes I have made? Of course. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to stop doing these things. That's not the way I operate" (AP, 8/9). ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said of Emmert's decision that the NCAA's e-commerce site would stop selling school-related merchandise, "It's wrong for the NCAA membership to sell players while restricting them, whether it's jerseys, video games, or media rights. Emmert's statement was simply that the NCAA office was stopping these sales because it's wrong and hypocritical, not that the NCAA membership -- which we are constantly told is the NCAA -- is stopping. It's a shell game. ... The NCAA office isn't doing it anymore, but the schools are. So Emmert's statement was mostly cosmetic, in my view" (SI.com, 8/11).

GET RICH SCHEMES? ESPN.com's Kristi Dosh reported the Texas A&M Univ. athletic department "received just $59,690 for jersey sales last year." That number "isn't just football, either," as it "includes basketball, baseball, cycling and all other jersey sales." The "bottom line is that athletic departments aren't getting rich off jersey sales." Texas A&M receives just 10% of the "wholesale price for jerseys under its contract" with adidas, and jersey sales accounted for just 1.53% of the school's licensing revenue last fiscal year. Out of the total of $3.9M, the "largest source of revenue was $750,000 in men's T-shirt sales" (ESPN.com, 8/9). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith reports Texas A&M "sold a school-record" $70M worth of licensed merchandise during FY '12-13. Texas A&M's gross royalties "grew to an all-time high" of $3.9M in '12-13, the school's first year in the SEC. Licensing revenue over the last two years "has shot up" from $2.6M to nearly $4M, and over the last five years "has more than doubled" from $1.9M (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/12 issue).
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