NCAA President Mark Emmert, who recently received a ringing endorsement from the NCAA Executive Committee despite being the central figure in an enormous lack of institutional control, explains the NCAA's mission thusly: “Our mission is to be an integral part of higher education and to focus on the development of our student-athletes.”
Tell that to the Montclair State University women's basketball team that, despite an undefeated season, may have to play the NCAA tournament in hostile territory while Emmert and his NCAA cronies wage a political battle with the state of New Jersey over legalized sports gambling.
It's interesting how often the NCAA lets politics get in the way of student-athlete development. (We're not talking about the Miami debacle.)
I wish all I meant by politics was the typical bureaucratic "office politics" of, for example, what the NCAA says is or is not a violation. (Last I checked, giving a kid a bagel at your house is OK, but buying a bagel at a deli or putting cream cheese on it is a violation. I'm not joking.)