What a week Mark Emmert’s having…

The NCAA has completely botched the women’s basketball tourney.

Amid mounting pressure from players, coaches and administrators over differences between the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, NCAA President Mark Emmert on Tuesday wrote that he would be calling for “an independent review” of the processes that led to the disparities.

Emmert’s letter, which was obtained by The Washington Post, arrived in the wake of sharpening criticism that started late last week when players took to social media to note the differences between what men’s and women’s participants were being provided in terms of meals, fitness facilities and even coronavirus testing. NCAA officials acknowledged those differences as an “operational miss” and sought to remedy some of them, but that did little to stem a steady tide of outrage.

No doubt Emmert expects a little paper-overing should do the trick, at least in the short run.  The problem he’s got is that it hasn’t gone unnoticed in certain quarters.

Controversy over gender disparities at college basketball’s marquee tournaments reached Capitol Hill on Wednesday, as a group of 36 House Democrats demanded answers of NCAA President Mark Emmert and soccer star Megan Rapinoe called out NCAA officials in a congressional hearing.

In a letter to Emmert, the lawmakers asked for a review of the NCAA’s other championships and raised questions about the organization’s role in fueling inequity in college sports, a sign that scrutiny of the NCAA is likely to expand beyond this month’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

… The House Democrats’ letter, which was provided to The Washington Post, asks Emmert to review “all other championship competitions to ensure that they adhere to the gender equity principles of Title IX,” the landmark gender equity law that bars discrimination on college campuses. It demands a breakdown of the resources the NCAA uses to investigate and identify gender disparities at its member colleges.

Not a good look when you’re trying to argue with a straight face that the status quo, economically speaking, is worth defending because of the opportunities it provides to college athletes in non-revenue producing sports.

That all being said, the cynic in me concedes that may not be career threatening.  After all, shamefaced hypocrisy is a big reason Emmert has the job he has.  This, though, is an entirely different can of worms.

All those are going to pale in comparison to what promises to be Emmert’s defining legacy of incompetence at the NCAA, a mistake that’s going to likely cost the association more than $3.5 billion in upcoming years. In 2016, the NCAA had eight years left on its NCAA tournament television contract with CBS and Turner and decided not to take it to market.

Instead, the NCAA extended the deal until 2032 at a modest increase of less than 3% annually. At the time, Emmert took a victory lap in the media, saying that uncertainties in the “evolving media landscape” led to the extension.

Well, the landscape has evolved. And those who trade in the television business have declared it a failure of vision, destined to go down as one of the worst sports television deals in modern athletic history. History will remember CBS and Turner executives wearing a ski mask in those negotiations, as the deal is already considered a bargain with more than a decade remaining. By the time it expires in 2032, Emmert will be remembered as having left billions on the table.  [Emphasis added.]

There are a lot of forgivable sins in college athletics, but fucking up broadcast revenue deals isn’t one of them.  Just ask Larry Scott.

Have fun, Mark.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, The NCAA

26 responses to “What a week Mark Emmert’s having…

  1. Down Island Way

    Not gonna’ argue ncaa leadership short comings, my general dislike is the monopoly that has taken place with the WWL, knowing that the only an$wer to the check$ Mickey write$ is Moooore commercial time (no matter the sport), leaves me wanting the simpler times of the pregame show and 1 o’clock kickoff on the radio….even with modern tech, tv broadcast and UGA broadcast don’t match up…at least in this neighborhood…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JaxDawg

    This is rich. Mr. “it’s not about the money, it’s about the kids” is going to forced to explain why the higher revenue sport (men’s tourney) received superior resources and attention than the women’s tourney.

    I’d say I’d enjoy watching him squirm, but he’s a veteran at telling the world to pay no attention to the men behind the curtain.


  3. Yet again, the arrogance of the NCAA astounds. Surely they knew that the weight room setup they had for the women’s tournament was substantially worse than what those women were used to at their individual schools. (Hell, that setup was worse than what Dwight Schrute set up for the Dunder Mifflin employees in that one episode of The Office.) In this age of omnipresent social media, did they really think that none of the players in the women’s tourney would go “Ugh, this sucks” and tell the world about it? Were they just assuming the little ladies would be happy to get a patronizing pat on the head and be sent on their way?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Faltering Memory

    Having a Mensa level mind is not worth much if you don’t have the common sense to guide it. This also applies to all the presidents behind the curtain.


  5. BuffaloSpringfield

    What “ DIW “said, we gonna be longing for a radio broadcast and have to pay to listen to more commercials than ever before. Guess it doesn’t matter to you younger Gen X’s but there’s a time coming at the end of the 20th commercial, ya ask yaself, what wuz I watching’, went to the kitchen made a sandwich and a beer and what wuz that on tv, oh well never mind. Think I’ll look on YouTube for some ole’Dawg games.


  6. 123 Fake St

    Virtue signaling is sooo hot right now.


    • It’s a lot easier when someone steps in it publicly the way the NCAA has.


      • 123 Fake St

        No doubt. The NCAA is garbage. So is Emmert, Rapinoe, the Post, and the 36 House Democrats.

        Show me the ROI between the men’s/women’s tournament or any sport for that matter and I’ll show you why there is a difference in “equity.”


        • Show me the ROI between the men’s/women’s tournament or any sport for that matter and I’ll show you why there is a difference in “equity.”


          The NCAA’s problem is that, while that’s the way they’ve acted, that’s not how they’ve described their role. Can’t have it both ways.


          • 123 Fake St


            I think it’s way past time for the major colleges to disband and reorganize.


          • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

            Using the term ROI is inappropriate for the NCAA anyway – isn’t it a ‘non-profit’ org.? They are not supposed to have a return on investment. How much does a weight room cost to basically rent? How small is the amount of money that it takes to provide equal facilities? I bet they will pay more for the “independent investigation” than what the cost of equal facilities would have been.

            Liked by 2 people

    • Accusations of “virtue signaling” are pretty much an admission that you have no excuse, explanation, or rebuttal for whatever’s going on. Just be honest and say “I know it’s unfair but I don’t give a shit.”


      • 123 Fake St

        I disagree. I know it’s NOT unfair, and I don’t give a shit about irrelevant issues or the people I mentioned above. Instead of using common sense, they’d rather virtue signal. The don’t have an explanation or rebuttal for their “plight.” The fact is women’s sports operate in the red and only exist because of title IX.

        I will say this, they should be given better food. The weight room complaint is bullshit, however.


  7. rigger92

    Way back in ‘90 and ‘91 I was in the BB band and SEC tournament time was really fun with the women’s teams and felt to me that it was actually better than the men’s tournament (which, back then we had a great women’s team so it was more fun anyway). The conference seemed to provide comparable support even though the venues were different, Orlando for the men and I think Macon for the women? Don’t hold me to that, been a while.

    But when the women broke into the NCAA tournament the band and the cheerleaders were flown to Vegas for the round of 16 I think. I remember the venue to be kind of a drag and the “green room” not nearly as stocked as the conference tournament was. I’ve never been to a men’s regional so I can’t exactly compare but I do know that the women’s was certainly no better than the SEC presented in it’s own tournament.


  8. Kevin’s Missing Pinky

    Emmert is simply a highly paid fall guy. Like, if the universities weren’t happy with him, he’d be gone. But he can be the “bad guy”, take their licks for them, get paid, while they [the universities] get to feign “disappointment” and “concern” with the system. And why not? American society is generally dumb and disconnected. There aren’t enough people who realize the NCAA was created by, for, and of the universities to speak for the universities and advocate for their interests. It’s not this rogue entity that the schools are slave to. They own it. They have the power to change it.

    They choose not to because it benefits them. Emmert takes their bullets and walks away rich. The schools keep their hands clean.