Analysis: What all of these statements mean for NCAA President Mark Emmert
Full story here.The statements keep clattering into the inbox, one after another. The latest arrived Tuesday night from a conference commissioner and the league's chairman of the board of directors. In this "challenging era for governance within intercollegiate athletics," the Mountain West Conference wants everyone to know of its support of NCAA President Mark Emmert. It is mostly filled with the wordy blah-blah unique to these things, and it is otherwise unremarkable – except that someone felt it needed to be said.That's pretty unusual.This follows on the heels of another statement, issued last week by the NCAA's executive committee. Michigan State president Lou Anna K. Simon, the current chair, said the committee had "unanimously affirmed its confidence in Mark's leadership." It went on from there, but here's the takeaway after all of this emphatic support:Such votes of confidence are rarely good news for the guy being endorsed.
The most glaring incidents leading up to questions about Emmert's future are the "consent decree" that forced draconian sanctions down the throat of Penn State and the thoroughly botched Miami investigation.
The NCAA has long been criticized for its arbitrary and often capricious enforcement actions and unethical behavior during the conduct of investigations. See the USC Bush case where the NCAA was bound and determined to punish an uncooperative institution and the Alabama Means case where the NCAA used double secret witnesses without giving the school the opportunity to cross examine.
Both of these came before Emmert ascended to the throne, but they both show that what happened in the Miami case wasn't new. The NCAA didn't just wake up and figure out how to skirt their own policies and procedures. Quite the opposite--the evidence shows that they're well practiced in it and knew exactly what they needed to do and how to do it.
The question now is this: Has Emmert just decided that the NCAA isn't going to fake it anymore? That would be disturbing for a number of reasons and the email chain Schroeder mentions in his column indicate that there are rumblings that could grow to a landslide.