#AskEmmert: Twitter Users Hammer NCAA President During Q&A on Student-Athlete Pay

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If you ever wanted to know what a digital colonoscopy might look like, look no further than the #AskEmmert hashtag now trending on Twitter. 

Mark Emmert, the president of the little non-profit known as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), took to the airwaves of the ESPN's Mike & Mike show Friday morning and fielded questions from Twitter users. It didn't take long for the thread to turn into a social media disaster.

Sports Illustrated has a roundup of some of the best questions posed to Emmert, but the NCAA president seemed genuinely confounded when asked to his explain why the NCAA has taken so long to act on common sense reforms like food allowances (which only went into effect after comments made by University of Connecticut basketball star Shabazz Napier) and made flippant remarks about student-athletes that have sought unionization.

"It would completely blow up the collegiate model. So if what we want to do is fix up all the problems that are out there—of which there are plenty—that's the wrong answer," stated Emmert on this morning's program. 

If unionization is the wrong answer, Emmert and his colleagues at the NCAA have failed to provide any answers at all. The NCAA president contends that the organization has been working on major reforms related to food allowances and student-athlete transfer rules for years, but nothing had been passed until after the recent NLRB ruling in March. Since then, the NCAA has acted quickly in reforming stingy food laws for athletes (Emmert spent a good portion of his interview detailing how a bagel could be construed as a meal violation) and promises more changes on health care and student-athlete transfer laws. 

Though Emmert couldn't explain why these changes weren't enacted sooner, I've made the argument here at Reason that the NLRB decision is finally forcing the NCAA's hand when it comes to making any concrete changes: 

The NCAA has spent decades doing the easy thing, using its power to inconsistently impose and enforce outmoded and overly complex eligibility rules upon student-athletes, who have lost their athletic eligibility for rapping and have been punished for washing their cars with university water available to other students. 

The NLRB ruling and growing number of other major lawsuits may finally force the NCAA to do what we as student-athletes learn on day one: make the hard choices. 

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  1. which only went into effect after comments made by University of Connecticut basketball star Shabazz Napier

    Finally someone is exposing how terrible the cafeteria food at UConn is. I had my own hungry nights because I refused to eat Rice Krispies-breaded chicken or one of the other frightening creations of the “cooks”. Napier is another Edward Snowden. But of food.

    1. So you are to Napier as Putin is to Snowden?

      I can see that.

      1. Please don’t give Epi any excuses to post photos of him shirtless on horseback…

    2. I can confirm the general shittiness of the dining halls. But I hear they made some renovations recently, hopefully by firing the chefs.

  2. We have had this thread about a hundred times. There is no point in rehashing the issues. The better question is why Reason seems to give a shit about this so much. The country is going bankrupt but making up for it by turning into a police state and Reason thinks Johnny Football being able to sell his own jerseys is an issue worth talking about at least once a week these days.

    1. It’s the curse of the 24/7 news cycle.

    2. Johnny Football

      I thought America had agreed that it was officially going to be “Johnny Fuckface“.

      1. I think that will be determined by who he gets drafted by. I.e., if he’s drafted by a team you like, it’s Johnny Football, if he’s drafted by a team you hate then it’s Johnny Fuckface.

    3. We have had this thread about a hundred times.

      Then try leading by example.

  3. “Emmert and his colleagues at the NCAA have failed to provide any answers at all.”

    FYTW

  4. BUT BUT BUT SHABAZZ NAPIER IS GOING TO STARVE (disregard the $750 worth of tattoos on his arms, its not like that money could be used for, i dunno, fucking food)

  5. I can’t believe anybody buys that crap.

    1. Stupid squirlz…that was supposed to be a reply to Sudden…

  6. but the NCAA president seemed genuinely confounded when asked to his explain why the NCAA has taken so long to act on common sense reforms like food allowances (which only went into effect after comments made by University of Connecticut basketball star Shabazz Napier) and made flippant remarks about student-athletes that have sought unionization.

    Looks to me like he gave a very direct and thoughtful response.

    Oh, but if you’re a cosmotarian like Alexis Garcia apparently is, any quote that does’t support your position is “flippant”.

    Virginia Postrel, etc etc etc.

  7. Though Emmert couldn’t explain why these changes weren’t enacted sooner, I’ve made the argument here at Reason that the NLRB decision is finally forcing the NCAA’s hand when it comes to making any concrete changes:

    Thank God for government force. Otherwise people voluntarily entering into an agreement might actually, you know, have to abide by the terms of the agreement.

    Seriously, when did Reason start employing bootlickers? I mean, I still see “Free Minds and Free Markets” on the masthead. So why do they have a writer apparently applauding the government stepping between the parties of a voluntary agreement as an advocate for one side?

  8. Her Reason bio

    Prior to her work at Reason, Garcia was a segment producer for the #1 rated cable news show The O’Reilly Factor at Fox News. She is a veteran of two presidential campaigns and former White House intern.

    Makes sense after reading that.

  9. Actually, Emmert made a good explanation of the NCAA on a different show last week. As shitty as the NCAA is and as shitty as their crazy rules are, I agree with him that unionization would be very bad for college sports.

  10. Remember that time 80-100 years ago when people thought sports where the contestants got paid were “fixed”?

    Why was that same logic never applied to government employees?

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