Poor Mark Emmert.
As the head of the kangaroo court in Indianapolis that tries to oversee most of collegiate sports, he’s getting blamed for indecision about big time-college football … and he really doesn’t have veto power over that.
Commissioners of the SEC, ACC, Big 10, Pac 12 and Big 12 let him control everything else — maybe so he can feel important — but when it comes to those guys playing football, he can just make noise.
“Probably in the corner somewhere in the fetal position not wanting to look up,” was Bill King of Nashville Sports Radio’s guess on where Emmert is Wednesday with Phil Elson, Matt Jenkins and Matt Travis (Halftime) on ESPN Arkansas. ”
The NCAA lost control of big-time college football in 1984 when Oklahoma and Georgia took away their television rights, opening the financial arms race. It even seriously affected Arkansas as that was one of the driving forces in Frank Broyles’ decision 30 years ago to jump to the SEC.
Now, in the midst of a global pandemic that has caused panic and fear for the safety of others among many knee-jerk media people, about all Emmert can do is weigh in on football for smaller schools.
Since teams started working out together and being tested, not a single player has died or even been seriously sick. If they had, I can guarantee you we would have heard about it.
In fact, teams have been having 100% negative results. Oklahoma announced no positive tests last week. According to a story from Tom Murphy with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Wednesday, the Hogs are now 100% negative.
To his credit, Emmert hasn’t jumped up and tried to grab the spotlight during all this. He shut everything down back in March when there wasn’t a whole lot of information about the coronavirus.
Now, due to the public relations panic, he may shut down fall sports … even though the risk is less for the players than driving to and from practice.
But that won’t happen for the Power 5 conferences. They may shut things down but it won’t come from Emmert.
He really hasn’t got a say in it.