Mark Emmert toes company line on Dan Patrick Show

With an interesting NCAA vote coming up on Thursday for a new NCAA structure and Northwestern’s Union vote lingering on Friday, today was an interesting day for Mark Emmert to go on the Dan Patrick Show. Especially, considering the fun he had on social media this weekend.

Here is what Dan talked about with Emmert….

Why is he doing the media tour?

Emmert said he’s not doing a media tour but is answering questions about the issues in front of the NCAA.

What impact did the Shabazz Napier comments have on unlimited food and snacks?

Emmert said the changes in food policy had been in the works for over a year. He wishes things worked that quickly but the comments didn’t have that big of an impact. The change will now make it more of a University decision on when and how to provide food and snacks for student athletes.

Is Emmert in favor of paying college athletes?

He said he was in favor of making sure student athletes have all the things they need to be successful (including the full cost of attendance) but is not in favor of converting to paid employees especially not unionized employees.

How concerned is he about unions?

Said it would completely change everything about college sports and would call into question why Universities would want to participate in college athletics. Scholarships would become a taxable wage. Says most presidents would not be interested in continuing sports as they are now.

Why can’t a player capitalize on his likeness?

Says they can but after they are done with college athletics (which interpreted means that they can’t). Talked about “competitive fairness” with endorsement contracts.

Why can’t Johnny Manziel capitalize on school selling his jersey?

Says Universities use revenue to support athletic department. He again pushes that the athletes will the opportunity to capitalize on their image later.

What about putting money in escrow? How much money did Manziel make for A&M?

Dan pushes Mark on if he thinks Manziel should profit and Emmert toes the company line of A&M providing him with the opportunity to capitalize as a pro.

Who benefited more A&M or Manziel?

Declines to answer. Dan says A&M benefited more.

If you played college football would you want to be paid?

Said he would want an opportunity to get an education (all expenses paid), compete at the highest level, get the best coaching, health care and the best training and would consider that ample compensation


Overall, it’s pretty much what we thought going in. Emmert didn’t look foolish like the Twitter mishap this weekend but he definitely projected an attitude of someone who is not going to make changes unless forced (which is what is happening now) and isn’t going to budge on compensation for players.

Dan threw out a lot of softballs early in the interview and the best part of the interview was when he pressed Emmert on the specific example of Johnny Manziel and Emmert was speechless because he knew he couldn’t answer the question honestly or without going against the NCAA.

Overall, there wasn’t anything ground breaking but it was nice to see Emmert squirm a little and you get the sense that with the threat of Unionization there is at least some urgency to make some sort of changes.

It should be noted that Mark Emmert makes $1.7 million a year as President of the NCAA.

About Kevin Causey

Dry humorist, craft beer enthusiast, occasionally unbiased SEC fan, UGA alumni, contributor for The Comeback.