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NCAA Prez Emmert Promises “A Lot Of Change” Over The Next Year

Penn State Abuse EmmertAs scandals break left and right (we say it’s because there’s more media digging around), with players uniting in the hopes of getting paid (we say no amount of cash will hush that chorus), and with the media calling for the outright toppling of the NCAA (we ask what the replacement would be), president Mark Emmert is promising a lot of change to the way his organization does business. 

And Emmert — speaking to more than 100 Division I faculty athletics representatives yesterday — says that change is coming soon, too:


“I’ve said publicly on a number of occasions that only thing everybody agrees on with Division I governance is that it doesn’t work.  I think the board anticipates a lot of change.  They’re going into their October and January meetings expecting to look at a whole different governance model for Division I.  So it will be significantly different.”


There was no word on whether Emmert stood and belted out this Sam Cooke classic post-speech.

While some still speculate that a number of big schools will completely break away from the NCAA in order to form their own “more perfect union,” we at believe a new super-division of those schools with the biggest athletic budgets remains the most likely outcome from all the recent shaking and quaking.  On more than one occasion we have tried to point out that the biggest schools are the NCAA and that they will first try to fix their ship before abandoning it.  Also, try to imagine the difficulty involved in creating an all new rule book, governance plan, and hierarchy that can be agreed upon by all the big conferences and the big and “small” schools in each.  Breaking away would require too much work, in our view, and for that reason it won’t be the final solution to this problem.

Emmert said yesterday: “To think that the president of the NCAA has ever been anything like the commissioner of baseball is ludicrous, but yet that would be the most popular perception I suspect that people have of what my job is.”  Yes, Emmert was trying to defend the job he’s done, but that doesn’t mean his statement is incorrect.  In fact, we would suggest that the NCAA as a whole — sometimes viewed by fans as a corrupt sheriff who’s ridden in and taken over a Wild West town — is less than all-powerful, too.  The schools and their representatives make up the NCAA.  The NCAA isn’t a dominating alien.  It is literally the schools themselves.  So if the schools have created the mess that is the NCAA, what faith should anyone have in a few of those bigger schools cooking up a better breakaway plan in the future?

At the risk of sounding like the Devil’s advocate, we at are even skeptical of a line published in the packet handed out to attendees at yesterday’s meeting: “The simpler the governance structure, the better.”  That sounds good, but it means one of two things.  Either the NCAA will now allow some amount of cheating to take place… or it will continue to add rules to its “simple” governance structure to close the loopholes that will no doubt open up with the launch of a newer, simpler system.  Meaning the new simpler plan won’t be simple for long.

As stated we believe a new super-division is coming in which the biggest schools can hand their players full-cost-of-tuition scholarships which will include some amount of spending cash.  But that cash will be deemed too small by players and media members alike.  “They’re making billions for the schools but all they get is an extra grand a semester?”   In addition, the governance plan for the new division will come under fire the very first time a scandal breaks (which will likely be about five minutes after the new plan is unveiled).

Emmert says a change is coming to Division I governance.  But we suspect today’s problems will simply be moved beneath a different shell.  There is no cleaning up college athletics and there is certainly no way to keep everyone happy.  So whatever changes are made — in today’s society — they won’t stand a chance of satisfying the populus.  That doesn’t mean an effort to improve things shouldn’t be made.  It just means any new plan will be sliced and diced same as the old plan.

In other words…


Charlie Wilson's war Zen Master and the little boy

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Thought Of The Day – 11/30/12

Good Friday to you.  We’re just one day away from the SEC’s own private national semifinal game.  We saved up the numbers/stats pieces from yesterday and will launch them one after another today as part of our SEC Championship Game preview.  From offense to defense to turnovers to hidden stats, we’ll examine the Alabama-Georgia matchup from top to bottom and side to side.  That’s all on the way.

But first, your musical/lyrical inspiration this morning comes from — in this writer’s opinion — one of the 10 best pop/r&b/rock/soul songs ever recorded.  It just happens to have been recorded by one of the 10 best voices to ever emanate from American radio stations, too.

Sam Cooke’s brilliant Civil Rights anthem “A Change Is Gonna Come” was used in one of the many moving scenes in 1992′s “Malcolm X.”  Ridiculously, Spike Lee wasn’t nominated for best director for that picture and the film itself wasn’t even nominated for best picture.  Denzel Washington — in his best performance to date — was nominated for best actor, but he lost out to Al Pacino for “Scent of a Woman,” proving once again that any actor portraying a character with a disability has a distinct advantage come Academy Awards time.

For those who watched “Training Day” and said, “Why’d Denzel win best actor for that?” just dial up “Malcolm X” and you’ll soon realize that the Academy was throwing him a make-good award for not tipping its collective cap to him in ’92.  A brilliant actor, a wonderful role, a tremendous film, a fantastic job of directing… and a great, great moving song.

Sadly, this masterpiece was first released in 1964… following Cooke’s death in ’63.  It was ranked as the #12 song on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, but I can’t think of 11 better songs.

I’m so glad this popped up first on the ol’ iPod today.  I just can’t hear it without being moved.


“Oh, there have been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long.  But now I think I’m able to carry on.  It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come.”


Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come (THE REAL VERSION; CD QUALITY; LYRICS)


Headlines, numbers and an SEC Championship Game preview are all on the way…

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