NCAA president Mark Emmert has been expected to testify in the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit. And USA Today reports that Thursday is the day. Now that it's just about officially official, college football fans are probably going to have a lot to talk about Thursday afternoon.
Emmert seems to have a problem. Whenever he speaks in public, he ends up saying things people make fun of. It's hard not to slip up when trying to defend the financial and moral necessity of the NCAA model, but that hasn't stopped Emmert from going on media tours pleading his case.
Earlier this year, the NCAA ran a #AskEmmert hashtag campaign that went about as well as you'd expect:
Mark Emmert's Thursday O'Bannon testimony will probably be mundane and uneventful. pic.twitter.com/jv7h2CMlpO— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) June 17, 2014
But it wasn't just #AskEmmert. Emmert also went on "Mike & Mike in the Morning" and, among other things, accidentally made a comment admitting athletes are worth more than what they're given.
In saying that college teams could hire guys from the CFL, Emmert acknowledges college football players would earn more than CFL players.— Patrick Vint (@HS_BHGP) April 18, 2014
Emmert also struggled in last year's NCAA Tournament press conference, including getting in some spats with reporters.
Mark Emmert: Master of the filibuster— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) April 4, 2013
In response to Dennis Dodd, who wrote Emmert should be out, "By the way, thanks for the career advice. Kept my job anyway."— Rachel Axon (@RachelAxon) April 4, 2013
Well, time for me to get to work then. RT @SIPeteThamel: Mark Emmert: "If you’re not getting sued today. You’re not doing anything."— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) April 4, 2013
Emmert is probably a nice guy whose job description happens to include being a punching bag so university presidents don't have to absorb those blows.
On Thursday, he'll have to attempt to defend the indefensible again. Judging by his previous appearances, it probably isn't going to go very well.