Apr 1st, 2022 |
109: Mark Emmert, Master Dissembler
On March 31st, Mark Emmert sat for his annual Final Four press conference. Coach K warmed up Emmert’s seat in his presser immediately preceding Emmert’s. Coach K—not one to mince words when annoyed—threw some serious shade at Emmert. Coach K asked the same question plaguing Emmert’s tenure from the beginning in 2010: who is in charge, and where is the college sports ship heading? True to his purpose as the NCAA’s master dissembler, Emmert served up a pile of NCAA/Power 5 garbage wrapped in the glory of this Final Four, and the beauty of college sports writ large. But Emmert’s actual audience in his 30-minute stump speech was the United States Senate, not coaches, the sports media, or consumers. Carefully prepped by NCAA/Power 5 lawyers and lobbyists, Emmert laid the foundation for the NCAA’s/Power 5’s re-engagement with Congress—most likely after the mid-term elections. At every turn, Emmert invoked the need for Congress to save college sports as we know them. One thing is clear. The NCAA/Power 5 war against revenue-producing athletes is far from over.