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Defiant Emmert: Kept my job anyway
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 4, 2013 @ 8:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Rachel George, USA TODAY Sports
ATLANTA — Striking an often defiant tone, NCAA President Mark Emmert spent much of his Final Four press conference on Thursday defending his record and that of college sports’ governing body as continuing controversy around the organization threatened to overshadow its marquee event.
Instead of a celebration of the Final Four and its 75th anniversary, Emmert’s 41-minute meeting with the news media became a referendum on the challenges the NCAA faces. If his appearance was casual — the often buttoned-up Emmert taking questions without a suit coat or tie, his collar left unbuttoned —Emmert’s tenor was not.
Emmert trumpeted reforms from the past year, highlighting changes to the rulebook, academic-progress rates and the enforcement process. But after his 17-minute opening statement, he spent the rest of the press conference at the Georgia World Congress Center addressing questions critical of several recent problems and news developments.
“Some of the criticisms about change or what’s going on naturally get leveled with the guy at the top,” Emmert said.
Emmert took that criticism in the form of questions about news stories that thus far have loomed over the NCAA’s premier championship. Among them are three this week that prove to be troubling:
Former New York Times and Sports Illustrated reporter Selena Roberts wrote on Roopstigo.com Wednsday about a culture of academic fraud, payment of players and recruiting violations during Auburn’s 2010 football championship season. The NCAA has already been criticized for its handling of the eligibility case of Heisman-winning quarterback Cam Newton, whose father was found to have shopped his son around during his recruitment from junior college.
“What there is is a newspaper story. That’s it,” Emmert said. “We haven’t done anything with that case because we don’t know anything about it. … If allegations of that kind are true, we deal with them.”
Also on Wednesday, a USA TODAY Sports investigation showed Emmert’s own history of dodging blame when scandals befell the universities where he was a high-ranking official . He said he was proud of his record, telling reporters to check with people on the campuses where he worked, but dodged a question about what was factually … [For more on Defiant Emmert to reporter: Kept my job anyway, click here.]
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