Who has the toughest job in America with no power? Mark Emmert. In the United Kingdom they’d call him the Queen of England, and that’s too bad because I think Emmert has the best of intentions.
I know Mark Emmert is in a tough position because he really, really wants to be like Roger Goodell, but in reality he has no operational control over the organization that he runs; the NCAA. He is a figurehead, and one that has embarrassed the association for the better part of three years. Emmert cannot compel athletes or coaches to testify and has no say in what punishment is handed out to those who violate the association’s arcane rules.
Unfortunately for Emmert, there is no way he can enact any change that will be make the association as svelte and efficient as it needs to be. He has fought the good fight, but hasn’t necessarily done a good job fighting. He has had his head buried in the sand, and his enforcement investigators have made him look foolish. He’s been through two enforcement managers and no one in their right mind believes the investigation into Miami’s transgressions has been handled fairly.
Yeah, we know Miami cheated their asses off, got caught, and will likely face sanctions this June. On the other end of the spectrum is Penn State, which committed virtually no violations of NCAA regulations, and was basically given the death penalty. You can argue Penn State had a moral authority to do this and that, but the reality is they didn’t commit any violations. Emmert somehow convinced Penn State’s board of board to accept sanctions out of fear that the Committee on Infractions (COI) would hand down much severe penalties.
I’m guessing the people at Penn State forgot Emmert has no control on the actual penalties handed down by the COI while the people at Miami didn’t.
Pretty sure Emmert doesn’t look like Roger Goodell, but don’t tell that to anyone in State College, PA.
Anyone have an idea of what the real problem could be? Let me explain it to you. There are academic people - who are very smart - attempting to manage and run a sports enterprise. There isn’t a university in America that has a president, chancellor, provost or any of those other fancy titles that has ever run any form of a sports organization.
Know who is in charge of the NCAA? Mark Emmert, former president of the University of Washington. Before Emmert, was Miles Brand, former president of university of Indiana, who is known mostly for firing Bob Knight. What do they have in common, neither has run any type of sports property in their careers.
Arguably these two have been two that have defined the NCAA and its current direction more so than any other administrator before them, and neither has any real operational control of the organization nor has run a sports enterprise before taking the job.
The Executive Director of the NCAA is basically the Queen of England. The only difference is the Queen cannot be removed and makes a hell of a lot of money…and she gets a pretty nice car.
Can Emmert save himself? Sure, but it won’t help the organization or the student-athletes the association is supposed to serve. The best thing Emmert can do is go to those who hired him, demand the association be completely re-organized and quit the day those changes are implemented.
Do I see Emmert becoming a patsy for the greater good? Of course not.
So, since he won’t demand change and will likely be fired for his employee’s shoddy work on the Miami investigation, another university leader will be hired and the cycle will continue.
Don’t place the blame on the Emmert, NCAA’s Queen of England, but blame college presidents whom refuse to empower him to enact the change that is much needed in Indianapolis. Follow @damienbowman //