Over a month ago, NCAA President Mark Emmert decided to open his mouth and insert his foot when he said he wished that he and his kids were exploited in the way scholarship athletes are in sports today.
The comment served to prove what many already believed: Emmert is going to go the distance when it comes to protecting the NCAA. Recently, Emmert took things further by rewriting history and proving that he is either really out of touch or that he can blissfully ignore all evidence to the contrary.
When speaking about college football, Emmert said the sport has shown positive growth in the wake of the scandals. The scandals meaning NCAA violations incurred by Ohio State, Tennessee and North Carolina, the child abuse scandal at Penn State and the recent Bobby Petrino affair-unethical hiring situation.
Before we get into Emmert's comments on this positive growth, it must be said that lumping these four situations in under the "scandal" umbrella is not doing any of them any favors.
According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, Emmert said:
If 14 months ago ... we had said this next cycle we will watch the firing of the head coaches of Ohio State, Penn State, North Carolina, Tennessee basketball, Arkansas — all fabulously successful coaches on the floor and on the field — to see those five men fired for misdeeds, not for failures on the court or on the field, none of us would have believed it.
That's all well and good, if he truly believed it. The problem is, he is so incredibly wrong. Emmert is either not paying attention or is, as we mentioned, truly willing to go the distance in finding a way to praise his system.
Emmert is essentially patting himself on the back, if you will, because no one else is going to do it.
It is as if Mike Price and Alabama never happened, even though we all know it did. Maybe the SEC is just not on Emmert's radar, but surely Indiana basketball and its coach Kelvin Sampson being fired after bringing NCAA sanctions to the Hoosiers should be.
If neither of those public instances from the last decade were in Emmert's mind, then perhaps his own school's coaching situations would be. Just a few years before Emmert took over at Washington, Rick Neuheisel was fired for gambling. The Neuheisel firing came in the midst of the Price firing as well as the Jim Harrick situation at Georgia and the Larry Eustachy firing at Iowa State.
It isn't new to collegiate athletics.
The resignations of Pat Dye, Danny Ford, Don James and others embroiled in scandal are part of a college football history to which Emmert is apparently not privy. The firing of Woody Hayes has also apparently escaped Emmert's college football history lesson.
There is a long list of coaches fired for conduct, not on-field results, that Emmert casually ignores in order to praise the current state of the game.
There are two schools of thought here: Mark Emmert is truly, grossly out of touch, or he is going to sell anything to people if they will listen to it.
Basically, collegiate athletics either has a clueless boob running the show, or the sport rests in the hands of a shyster who will sell anything to further his cause.
Your pick, folks.