The press conference the NCAA held on Thursday in Atlanta before the Men’s Basketball Final Four was not a good one. NCAA President Mark Emmert was agitated and it seems he has been reading all of his press clippings. He took time during the press conference to single out Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports and was critical of Joe Nocera of the New York Times. Emmert actually spent more time talking than he did listening to questions that were asked and responding to them.
Dodd wrote an article in February calling for Mark Emmert’s job because of the lack of institutional control the NCAA displayed during their investigation of Miami. According to Rachel George of USA Today, Emmert said to Dodd, “By the way, thanks for the career advice. Kept my job anyway.” Emmert wasn’t done though, when he walked off the stage he apparently said:
As he walks off stage, Emmert tells @dennisdoddcbs: “I’m still here. I know you’re disappointed, but here I am.”
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) April 4, 2013
Emmert wasn’t done responding to criticism though and when he was asked about the USA Today article questioning his history at other schools he said, “I’m very proud of my record every place I’ve been.”
Emmert came off as childish and combative and this press conference won’t help his public image in the least bit. Unfortunately ESPN only televised part of the interview, so the public will never get to fully see what was said. The NCAA has been tumbling downwards and receiving more criticism the last two years than it ever has and it doesn’t seem that this will be changing any time soon.