Cry me a river, Mark.
“You can’t flip a switch. There’s an overwhelming sense of urgency but there’s an urgency to do it right and get it right. You get one chance at this thing.”? Give me a fucking break, dude. This isn’t a crisis that sneaked up on you people. You’ve let it fester until the politicians got involved and now there’s a sense of momentum running against you that you can’t control.
You probably felt like you could handle this the same way you did when the politicians started pushing you on playoff expansion. The difference is that there you were faced with controlling how to let more money flow into your collective pockets. This time, the threat involves the cash going in the opposite direction and you don’t like that. Even more, you don’t know how to change the narrative.
So you’ll spin madly.
And when that doesn’t work, you’ll lobby Congress even harder than you are now.
Emmert said he has been working with members of Congress for much of the past year to ask for help in creating a national law that would make uniform rules for college sports in different states and allow the NCAA to maintain some control over policing the new market for college athletes.
“Clearly people in Washington want to know what the desires are of college sports, and we need to work with them to help figure that out,” Emmert said.
But mainly, you’ll flail and hope somehow you’ll get bailed out.
Emmert said he did not know if the NCAA would regulate that market or if it would ask a third party to be in charge of that process. The National College Players Association, a non-profit aimed at advocating for college athletes and an outspoken critic of the NCAA, published a paper last week saying that it is in a better position to make sure it is representing the interest of athletes in future discussions about money-making opportunities. Emmert urged NCAA delegates at this year’s convention to make sure they were keeping the well-being of athletes at the forefront of all their decisions and acknowledged that many critics believe the organization has conflicts of interest that keep it from acting in the best interest of athletes.
This is what comes of taking maximalist positions and failing to be proactive.
Athletics directors, by and large, are watching this from the sidelines with cynical eyes. Many of the younger, more progressive administrators saw the crisis coming years ago and have little trust in NCAA leadership to get this right. They’re not particularly doctrinaire about the name, image and likeness issue, they just want to know the rules they’re playing by. What was notable, however, was how few of them came to this NCAA convention. This is largely the presidents’ show.
“Maybe some anticipated that we could get all the parties together in the old collegial way,” said Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson. “I don’t think there’s going to be that kind of time.”
Tell that to Emmert.