USA Today suggests that the executive committee’s pronouncement this weekend settles the matter of Mark Emmert’s NCAA presidency being in jeopardy, at least for now.
But even that story goes on to note that some unrest exists.
CBSSports.com reported Friday that a memo had circulated within Mountain West Conference leadership that read, in part, “Is it time for the presidents to seek new NCAA leadership or a new organization?” The memo reportedly was directed toward Fresno State President John Welty, who represents the MWC on the Division I Board of Directors.
Bruce Feldman paints an even bleaker picture for Emmert and his supporters.
So on Saturday, we got that glowing statement about Emmert and the Executive Committee, and it went over with quite a thud. A source at a big BCS school I spoke with Saturday night told me he’s heard Emmert won’t keep his job. And there are too many people coming at the guy now from all sides, and the Executive Committee’s statement only inflamed things around him even more. I don’t know. Maybe that is just wishful thinking. Does that mean Emmert will be forced out in the next year?
I’m not certain anything is as imminent as all that, but I do think Feldman’s spot on about what’s coming down the pike.
I suspect we’re going to get even more lawsuits, which has the potential to uncover more embarrassing information about how the NCAA operates its murky system of “justice” — and I’ve heard there will be more details coming out soon about Emmert that will only fan the flames of his grease fire. One intriguing part of this will be what Miami president Donna Shalala does down the road as the UM case keeps unfolding. No school ever has come out as hard against the NCAA publicly as Miami did earlier this week. Among the haymakers: “…sadly the NCAA has not lived up to their own core principles. The lengthy and already flawed investigation has demonstrated a disappointing pattern of unprofessional and unethical behavior.”
Shalala, keep in mind, has as many big connections in the world of politics as anyone in the NCAA community from her days in D.C., where she served eight years as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. She has clout and isn’t intimidated playing politics. I doubt the NCAA wants this ending up on Capitol Hill.
Those who are invested with Emmert will stay with him as long as it’s convenient, but if a big enough shit storm gets kicked up, especially one that makes it much more difficult for the organization to enforce its rules, they’ll dump him over the side in a heartbeat. Even more so if a legitimate threat from the political arena surfaces.
One thing about these leaks to consider is that plenty of folks out there are already working on separating Emmert from his position. You can figure that there are more than a few ambitious ones in their ranks – more than there are on the other side. And a good offense always beats a mediocre defense.