Something tells me that Mark Emmert doesn’t have time for the shit President Obama is laying down in this interview:
… if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football. And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence. In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much.
I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the NFL players have a union, they’re grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies. You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That’s something that I’d like to see the NCAA think about. [Emphasis added.]
And that’s probably a mistake. You may disagree with the man’s politics, but it’s hard to deny that Obama’s good at reading public sentiment. This concussion thing is moving fast – or at least faster than people like Emmert are. You ignore subtle warnings like that at your own risk. And the risk the NCAA and the colleges run is that they may be one big tragedy away (like, say, a death on the field) from having control of player safety taken away from them.
Unfortunately, if there’s one thing the NCAA isn’t good at, it’s being proactive.