Thursday afternoon, NCAA President Mark Emmert took to the podium at the Final Four press conference. After revelations of violations involving the Rutgers University basketball program and last night’s Auburn University football allegations this past week, we knew that Emmert was going to have some answers to give. He indeed did give those answers, just not the proper ones.
Regarding the Rutgers situation, Emmert clearly hinted at the fact that he and his team (if you want to call them that) haven’t really had the chance to properly review the situation. However, he did state that it is “out of his control” in regards to reviewing Rutgers’ display of lack of institutional control. There’s that dreaded “lack of institutional control” statement again, which I think we’ve heard before. Oh yes, that’s correct, that was the same term he used to eventually cripple the Penn State Nittany Lions with. It wasn’t out of his control then, was it?
As far as the Auburn story goes, that’s all still fresh. Considering the news broke literally last night, you couldn’t expect Emmert to delve into anything too deep just yet. This should have just been a simple answer of “As more details develop, we will certainly take the proper steps to handling the situation as our organization sees fit.”, or something along those lines. Instead, Emmert again opened mouth and inserted foot.
“What that is is a newspaper story. That’s it.”
This was the response given. Well, first off, yes that is what it is. What the president failed to realize is that, traditionally, NCAA scandals are started by some sort of investigative journalism. While I’m not saying that Emmert should have hit the panic button when the subject was brought up, he should have at least given the impression that this was something that he was keeping a keen eye on as it proceeds. Instead, he seemed to merely brush it off his shoulders as a petty matter.
Professionalism was also something that wasn’t displayed by the president.
Back in February, CBS‘ Dennis Dodd called for the removal of the NCAA President, evidencing the debacle that has become of the case against the University of Miami. Today, Emmert felt the need to address the comment in his own shrewd, cocky way.
Directing comments such as “By the way, thanks for the career advice. Kept my job anyway.” and “I’m still here. I know you’re disappointed, but here I am.” towards Dodd put Emmert’s pettiness and smug attitude on display for all to see. I understand that Wrestlemania is this week, but the president shouldn’t have felt the need to cut a heel promo on a CBS reporter.
All in all, the presser was a complete disaster. There really isn’t any other way to put it. All fans of college athletics were treated to just how incompetent the leader of its governing body is. Every word that came out of Mark Emmert’s mouth today, in my eyes, way basically cry daring someone to fire him.
I sincerely hope that I’m not the only one that heard those cries.