NCAA president Mark Emmert might very well be the least popular man in college sports, and a damning story by Pete Thamel reveals that even those in power and employed by the NCAA don't have the best perception of the president.
Thamel portrays Emmert as all form and little function, more taken to sweeping cosmetic reform and talk than actually getting things accomplished. Worse, that form is often poorly received -- Thamel talks of a meeting with a dramatic, strobe-light filled intro video Emmert held for all NCAA employees to a series of buzzwords called "One Team One Future," right before changing everybody's screen savers to that phrase. and the things he actually does accomplish, like hitting Penn State with crippling sanctions, often seem ill-advised.
The story has a series of quotes from anonymous sources on Emmert's leadership:
"I'm really concerned," said one high-ranking college administrator. "There's a need for a healthy NCAA. It's not healthy right now."
"When you get to the position Mark is in right now," said another college administrator, "it's how and when you are leaving, not if."
Furthermore, Thamel says that NCAA staff refer to Emmert as "King of the Press Conference." And although it's tough to find a place to stand on the NCAA's enforcement procedures, since some of their rules are arbitrary or unreasonable, it seems Emmert has made life very difficult for his enforcement staff, hanging them out to dry when they fail without giving them the resources to succeed. Thamel adds that Emmert does have some supporters -- Pac-12 presidents -- and that firing him is more easily said than done, but the overwhelming theme is of a man without a country, unpopular amongst those who rail against the NCAA and unpopular amongst those who want it to succeed.
At SB Nation, we aren't newbies on the "Mark Emmert is pretty much the worst" bandwagon. Let's go down the laundry list:
- The time we called Emmert a dictator
- The time we called Emmert a parasite
- The time we said Emmert needed to resign
- The time Emmert gave the worst press conference ever
- The time we already listed most of these insults because it turns out he was also really bad at being president at UConn and LSU
And only one of those things was written by me. We actually have five different authors in there, united on the concept of Mark Emmert being awful and extremely fireable. And he's only been in power for two and a half years. Now, we have to wonder how much longer he'll last, because the displeasure is starting to mount -- and not just among the usual dissatisfied internet types
Thamel's story is apparently linked to an investigative report set to drop later in the week about the University of Miami scandal -- and the poor job the NCAA did investigating it.