If you didn’t think the NCAA president would lay low after the article in The Athletic asserting he had knowledge shortly after taking office that there was a sexual assault problem with Michigan State athletics, well, you’d be right.
A day after a report suggested the NCAA could have years ago looked into problems at Michigan State, President Mark Emmert said Saturday that sexual assault allegations against Spartans athletes in 2010 were “widely reported” and already being investigated by law enforcement and the school.
Emmert made the comments in an email to the NCAA Board of Governors and other university presidents. Spokeswoman Stacey Osburn provided Emmert’s email to The Associated Press.
If you’ve already gotten the hint that maybe this wasn’t the best defense, don’t let me convince you otherwise.
Emmert noted he met with the coalition’s Katherine Redmond and legal expert Wendy Murphy in November 2010. A letter sent by Emmert, dated Dec. 6 and addressed to Redmond and Parker, was also provided to AP. It detailed programs the NCAA was helping to implement on campuses to address sexual violence and student behavior, though it made no specific reference to Michigan State.
As for his role, Emmert told the NCAA board in his email: “The MSU cases were widely reported in the press and already being investigated by law enforcement and university officials. Kathy did not imply that these were unreported cases or that she was acting as a whistleblower to report unknown information to the letter’s recipients.”
You see the holes there, don’t you? If not, let the author of The Athletic piece spell out the first.
Evidently, if you don’t spell things out completely for Mark Emmert, he’s at a loss about what you want. Obviously the many programs the NCAA sponsored at the time that Emmert mentioned in his response have had a great impact at member institutions like Baylor and Michigan State.
The other hole? “The MSU cases were widely reported in the press and already being investigated by law enforcement and university officials.”? Really, that’s your defense for avoiding direct involvement? Emmert wants to go there after tearing up the NCAA procedures manual to go at Penn State even as the Sandusky tragedy was being reported and investigated extensively? If that was the standard at the time, why is the NCAA wading into what’s happened at Michigan State now?
This is the look of a fish flopping around on the shore, frantically trying to throw itself back into safe waters. I can’t help but wonder what was going through Stacey Osburn’s mind when Emmert asked her to pass this on to the Associated Press. If it was anything other than “geez, this isn’t going to end well”, she’s dumber than I thought.